The City of Madison City Commission held their monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 9. There were several items of discussion including natural gas operations, Community Redevelopment Areas, grants, new force main and lift station and a noise ordinance. City Manager Tim Bennett presented the commissioners with the option to change the Natural Gas department’s operation, as the personnel are concerned about liability. For years, the city’s Natural Gas employees have gone beyond the meter into houses and businesses to conduct tasks they are not licensed to do such as hooking up water heaters, stoves and furnaces. Florida League of Cities recommended to the city to cease going beyond the meter except to light a pilot light due to liability issues. Bennett and City Attorney Clay Schnitker will bring the commissioners a new proposal to next month’s meeting to define what Natural Gas employees can and cannot do past the meter. The commissioners unanimously approved a resolution for the city’s Community Redevelopment Area expenditures. In this redevelopment program, a designated portion of property taxes, accumulated over a period of time, can be reinvested in the area for projects. In this resolution it lists the city’s plans on where to use the money.
The projects include repairing, upgrading and replacing water and natural gas service lines; cleaning, repairing and replacement of sidewalks; repair and maintenance of the old water tower at the courthouse and much more. Mayor Ina Thompson updated the commission on the progress that she is making with the Competitive Florida Partnership Opportunity and the Community Planning Technical Assistant Grant. She went to the Madison County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday, June 10 to get their approval before moving forward. The city commissioners unanimously approved an agreement with the Florida Rural Water Association to assist the City of Madison with designing and installing an emergency force main relocation and new lift station behind the old middle school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Right now, the city is renting a $2,000 a month for a bypass pump since the lift station pump motors are burned out. The estimated cost is $181,820. Bennett is in the process of getting a no-interest loan from Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Bennett updated the commissioners on the Noise Ordinance. City Attorney Clay Schnitker is working on writing the ordinance and the noise meter will be delivered soon.