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City Commission holds monthly meeting

Beginning the Tuesday, April 12 meeting of the Madison City Commission, Mayor Jim Catron opened the meeting with prayer. “May we use only our best skills and judgment,” Mayor Catron prayed before beginning the meeting.

Many items on the agenda for the night would require that exact matter, as they were ones that impacted the community heavily.

The commissioners all approved the consent agenda, which included items such as a speed bump installation on Pinckney St. in front of the First Baptist Church Youth Center, the evaluation and prioritization of city streets, a resolution to support the AMTRAK line and the appointing of Walter Copeland to the Police Pension Board.

Following that acceptance of the consent agenda, the commission oversaw the request of the use for city-owned property behind the Senior Citizens Council of Madison County.

City Manager Tim Bennett presented the item and provided the recommendation that the city allow the Senior Center to use the property, as they are desiring to use it to grow vegetables for the seniors at the center.  Madison Correctional Institution would be handling the labor of the garden.

With the agreement that the garden would not encroach within 100 ft. of the city’s nearby well, it was voted that City Attorney Clay Schnitker would prepare an Interlocal Agreement between the city and the council.  Commissioner Judy Townsend made the motion and Commissioner Rayne Cooks seconded the motion.

After making a decision regarding the tractor-trailer issue, the commission moved onwards to discuss professional engineering services.   The city commission needed to make a choice on how to number the three professional engineering firms that had submitted to be contracted to the city.  The commission made a vote for Schnitker to prepare contracts for the city commission to review during the Tuesday, May 10 meeting of the commissioners.

Next on the agenda was the matter of the installation of playground equipment at Sumpter James Park.  It was decided that the playground construction company will install the equipment.  Play Space Services out of Melbourne, Fl. will be given a contract (that will be reviewed by Schnitker) and Mayor Catron will sign the service contract before the city will issue a Notice to Proceed for the installation of the new playground equipment.

Next up, the commission approved the installation, inspection, maintenance and repair of various Backflow Prevention Devices within the city. The decision was made to allow property owners to be able to choose whether to allow the city to do repairs at an added cost to the monthly utility bill or to choose a plumber of their own choice.

The city commission approved new rates for labor and materials to be charged by the city when it repairs the devices.

Notifications will be sent out to property owners by the city when the changes takes place.

The final matter to be discussed was the sewer lift station at North Florida Community College (NFCC). The college had issued a warning of lawsuit if the city did not take responsibility for the sewage lift station on NFCC property.

In 1959, the City of Madison constructed the city station and NFCC claimed that the city had continued to be maintained and repaired by the city until October of 2015.

The commissioners discussed whether or not they believed that the city owned the sewage lift, as Schnitker warranted that the station had been depicted on the original blueprints of the college, meaning the college had seemingly planned to construct it.

It was decided that the city commissioners believed that the lift station was not theirs and were not obligated to repair or replace the station; Schnitker was placed with the job of presenting NFCC with the city’s decision.

After financial reports and City Manager notes, the meeting was adjourned until Tuesday, May 10, when the next city commission meeting will take place. The commissioners will meet at 5:30 p.m. at Madison City Hall, located at 321 SW Rutledge St.

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