Citizens express concerns to City Council about drainage

The Madison City Disability Advocacy Board presented recipients with awards at the City Council meeting Monday, June 13.

During the time for public comments during Monday’s City Council meeting, Mike Murch addressed the Council regarding drainage issues in the historic district. He said his backyard, along with Arnett Street in general, has issues with water accumulation after rainfall.

“It’s something that happens regularly and has been happening for quite some time,” Murch said.

Murch showed photograph after photograph of Arnett Street and his own backyard covered in pools of water.

He said if it is not fixed, it could potentially be a risk to his family’s health.

“If something isn’t done, we’re going to have a mold problem,” Murch said. “It’s been a problem for a long time. It’s never been addressed.”

Murch said it has gotten worse over the years.

“This is an old problem that is not just a maintenance issue,” said Gary Chynoweth, city engineer.

“The water wants to go where it’s going now, and we really can’t do work in that because it’s private property,” Chynoweth said. “It’s not a simple fix.”

“There are no drainage easements. That’s all private property,” said Councilman Tim Holcombe.

Diane Ward, who also lives on Arnett Street, has lived in her home since 1974.

“If you’re even going to have a historical area, you’re going to have to come up with something,” Ward said.

Ward continued, “We seriously need something done. I’m sure anybody that lives in that area will give an easement if they can. I just know right now, I’m losing my property.”

In other business, the Madison City Disability Advocacy Board announced its awards to three recipients.

The first was the MCDAB Faith Award, which was given to Trinity Baptist Church, which was accepted on behalf of the church by Glenn Bowers.

The next award, the Madison Personal Service Award, was given to Ronda Gilmore.

The MCDAB Inspiration Award was given to Charisse Hogan. Hogan is a rising senior at Bob Jones High School.

According to the city’s website, the board “…strives to affect positive changes in persons with physical and mental impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities.”

Later, Gary Jones addressed the Council questioning the status of the widening of Wall Triana Highway.

Jones said he has been posting signs along the road.

“You guys will probably get some calls and will probably get some petitions,” Jones said. “I’m starting to see almost two different Madisons.”

He said promises are good, but he wants action.

“I’ve been here since 1957,” Jones said. “Let’s be fair about it, guys. I pay my taxes. I’d like to see some of that tax money come back to me. Like my wife says, we bring food to the picnic, but we don’t’ get to eat.”

Holcombe pointed out there are plenty of roads that don’t have sidewalks, not just Wall Triana.

“I seem to be getting idle promises,” Jones responded.

“You’re not getting any promises,” Mayor Paul Finley replied, explaining that Jones has gotten as up-to-date information as is available.

Finley pointed out that while Jones may not be happy about how fast it’s happening, he has not been given any promises.

In other business, Finley announced that Monday, June 20 Nansi Clark will begin her job as the new assistant to the mayor.

Finley also pointed out that it’s National Armed Forces Week, and he expressed his gratitude for members of the military.

The Council approved the submission of a grant application to buy desks for the Madison Police Department. The total cost is $12,225, but as 50 percent matching funds will come from the department budget, it will only cost the city $6,112.

The acceptance of 36 used Dell computers from the Missile Defense Agency was approved by the Council. Their value is $1,300 each.

It was also approved for the police department to accept a $1,000 donation from Sharp Communications.

Finally, among resolutions approved included the approval of an agreement with Premier Pyrotechnics, Inc. for Juth 4TH fireworks, to be paid from the departmental budget. The fire and police departments will meet if the burn ban is still in place to discuss their options.

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