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Public involvement meeting held concerning Mill Creek Greenway Phase II

A public involvement meeting was held regarding Phase II of Mill Creek Greenway. The meeting took place Tuesday, June 14 in the City Council chambers.

Among numerous individuals from the community, Mayor Paul Finley, Councilman Tim Cowles, Councilman Tim Holcombe, Director of Recreation Kory Alfred, Chief of Police Larry Muncey and City Engineer Gary Chynoweth were in attendance.

Finley said at the last Mill Creek public involvement meeting, citizens were informed it wouldn’t happen quickly because growth plans had to be discussed.

He said they’re already talking about playground equipment and creating a Japanese garden.

“The final meeting for our growth plan—it’ll be sometime next month,” Finley said. “From that growth plan, it still has to be adopted. We’re still in a process of moving forward.”   

Chynoweth and Finley handled taking questions for the evening.

“About three years ago, Millstone subdivision was being considered for development. They gave the city the land necessary to extend Balch Road,” Chynoweth said. “There’s a lot of concern that we’re going to take the Phase II area and build it like we did the first phase. We did the first phase as a park; this next phase is going to be a trail.”

He said right now, the project ends where they can connect to an existing road in the heart of Madison. He added that there would be the opportunity in the future to extend the greenway up to the Bridgefield entry road.

A question was raised regarding how this project is being funded.

“The building part of it comes out of our capital improvement program,” Finley explained. “Then the city councilmen define the list of projects. It all is prioritized, defined as far as costs, put on a list and they vote on funding it. The maintenance of it comes through recreation right now. And we have grass-cutting services that we add, too.”

To walk the greenway, Chynoweth said there are two parking areas currently available: the Balch/Browns Ferry corner and Balch/Mill Road corner.

He said it’s legal to park on the roads, so people don’t need to contact police if people park in front of their houses. He suggested people wait and see if it becomes a problem, and then go from there.

“If it becomes a problem, we first will approach problems like that as an enforcement issue,” Chynoweth said.

He said if it did become an issue, they could make a recommendation to the Council to address the issue.

Muncey said if people see anything suspicious or any issues, all they need to do is call the police department.

“You just have to tell me and let me know,” Muncey said. “I want to help.”

It was also pointed out that Phase II is being built in a flood plain. Chynoweth agreed, and said that’s part of why the land was given to them, but that it would be alright because water will drain throughout the day.

Chynoweth said technically they’re adding more runoff, but said they’re actually improving flow characteristics of the stream there.

“We will actually drop the elevations of the final floods,” Chynoweth said.

Chynoweth said once grass is established and cut on a regular basis, erosion is not a problem.

He later said he didn’t anticipate many trees being cut as part of this project.

Chynoweth and Finley encouraged people in attendance to fill out sheets provided on tables with their comments and suggestions.

A list of questions and answers will be posted on MadisonAL.gov. Finley said people can click on “Notify Me,” and people can choose to be notified for updates on this, as well as other things in the city.

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