Fire chief interviews slated March 25

Interviews to name a replacement for Madison Fire Chief Ralph Cobb, shown in a 2016 photo, will be conducted on March 25. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – At Madison City Council’s March 13 meeting, Mayor Paul Finley announced that interviews for about five finalists for Madison Fire Chief have been scheduled for March 25.

Finley hopes to introduce the new chief at council’s April 10 meeting. The new police chief should be named in early May.

Two new firefighters, Zachary Albright and Steven Chop, were sworn into duty. Lt. Nathan Beard has retired from Madison Police Department.

During public comments, Charlotte Cloud asked the city to provide a fact sheet to new residents in older neighborhoods about ordinances for lawn maintenance and trash disposal.

The following payments show larger expenses:

* Madison Public Library — Construction management, Turner Universal, $27,159.17; construction costs, Pearce Construction Co., $404,745.08.

* Downtown Streetscape, Phase III — Relocate aerial facilities on Martin Street, $72,724.47; tree removal at 16 Martin Street, Eager Beaver Tree Service, $5,000; Alabama Media Group, bid advertising expenses, $705.75; Wilmer & Lee P.A., legal fees, $5,077.31.

* Zierdt Road widening project — Share right-of-way costs with Huntsville, $9,920.35.

Land Trust of North Alabama received its annual appropriation $10,000.

Finley said Madison Board of Education’s decision to move sixth-graders to Madison’s middle schools will lead to expansion at Liberty Middle School and eliminate the need for constructing a new elementary school by approximately 10 years.

Finley attended a meeting that Sen. Bill Holtzclaw called in Montgomery concerning the Limestone County tax dispute. Finley said mediation has made progress to come closer to resolution. However, none of the parties – Madison, Limestone County or Huntsville – will be “completely happy” with the decision.

Also concerning schools, Superintendent Robby Parker, Madison Board of Education President Dr. Terri Johnson and Council President Tommy Overcash will lead a growth committee to look at school system expansion and Limestone County. Finley said they will study “what do we as a city want to occur.” Johnson will not apply for board reinstatement.

Council District 1 Councilwoman Maura Wroblewski rode in squad car with a police officer and in a firetruck with firefighters to learn and better appreciate their work environment.

District 3 Councilman Teddy Powell was authorized to upgrade to electrical service on the Village Green along Front Street with costs not to exceed $12,000. This improvement will accommodate power needs for gazebo concerts, Madison Street Festival, food trucks and other events. Also, a guard rail on Shelton Road will be installed, not to exceed $12,000.

“We’re in the final stages for right-of-way acquisitions for Phase III of downtown improvements,” Powell said. “Downtown residents have been very gracious to help.”

Director of Engineering Gary Chenoweth received approval for five items:

* County Line Road project, Phase II — Littlejohn Engineering, $719,586.67.

* Labeling unnamed street — ‘Tributary Lane’ near Rainbow Elementary School.

* Drainage easement — On Mill Road from Land Trust of North Alabama.

* Repair/resurface Huntsville-Brownsferry Road — Joint funding among Madison, Limestone County and Huntsville, not to exceed $300,000.

* Road project consulting — Burgreen Road repair, resurfacing from Huntsville-Brownsferry Road to U.S. 72, bridge replacement on Sullivan Street over Telluride Branch and Brownsferry Road over Mill Creek, not to exceed $106,000.

Council members Greg Shaw, Gerald Clark and John Seifert were absent.

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