Madison City Hall

Changes come to city council meetings, maintenance projects approved

MADISON – From now on, Madison City Council meetings will look a little different. After a trial period that has lasted for the May and June council meetings, the amended agenda order shifts Public Comments from the beginning to the end and adds opportunities for members of the public to speak with a special section for comments pertaining to the agenda and in the Public Hearing section is now permanent.

The change was initiated for a trial run at the April 10 meeting and enacted for the first time at the April 24 council meeting in the interest of releasing department heads from the meeting earlier. It increases the total number of minutes citizens may speak at a meeting from five to six.

Councilwoman Karen Denzine opposed the reordering of the agenda though she appreciated the variety of opportunities it gives citizens to speak. She still expressed her desire to keep Public Comments at the start of the meeting, “To me, the voice of the citizens is always the first order of business. It’s not the last. I do not support doing this at all. I don’t believe the people’s voice belongs at the end.”

The resolution passed with Denzine as the sole opposition.

The council authorized $5,567 and a contract with Huntsville Design and Construction to repair damaged stucco above two of the bays on Fire Station 1.

Fire Chief Bailey explained the need for repairs to prevent further, more expensive damage to the fire station, “If you come upstairs, you can see where there’s separation over the farthest two bays. We’ve had it inspected. We’re trying to get ahead of this before the damage gets worse and it gets a lot more expensive.”

The city council made preparations for the upcoming school year by authorizing agreements with the Board of Education for an additional School Resource Officer (SRO) as Journey Middle School adds a school to the district’s roster and for crossing guards for the 2023-2024 school year.

$514,535 will be going toward constructing open-air pickleball courts at the former Hexagon facility that is now being outfitted for a public recreation center. Baseline Sports Construction, LLC is the contractor for the project that will convert existing tennis courts at the facility to pickleball courts.

“It’s a recreation need. We did a recreation survey and pickleball was in the top five of desired projects from the citizens,” Parks and Recreation Director Kory Alfred said.

The new courts at the former Hexagon facility will hopefully meet the high demand that is exceeding the number of pickleball courts currently at Dublin Park.

The city council approved another recreation contract that authorizes InZone, LLC to build an 18-hole disc golf course at Sunshine Oaks Park off of Mose Chapel Road for $56,920.

Alfred commented, “That property sets up well for a nice disc golf course. We don’t have a full course in town. If you want to do that, you have to travel to Huntsville and other places.”

The next city council meeting will take place Monday, July 10 at 6 pm at city hall.

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