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City Commissioners discuss Amtrak and renaming of Brooklyn Street

The Madison City Commissioners gathered in regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 9 for their monthly meeting. After the meeting was called to order, Jennifer Johnson of the Florida Department of Health in Madison County presented a 2016 State Surgeon General Healthy Weight Community Champion award in recognition for Madison County's participation in the program, a Florida initiative that brings together state and local government to help create opportunities for healthy habits. Next, the commissioners approved the request by Madison First Baptist Church. Bill Rutherford requested that a new sidewalk and “a traffic-calming device” be placed on Rutledge Street near the church's new youth center. City Commissioner Jim Catron informed those in attendance about the resolution in support of efforts to restore Amtrak service. “[Having Amtrak in Madison] is a very good economic boost,” said Catron. He mentioned that an Amtrak Inspection Train will be coming to Madison on Friday, Feb. 19 at 4:14 p.m. City Manager Tim Bennett discussed the renaming of SW Brooklyn Street next, stating that Brooklyn Street is going to be renamed SW ER Scott Street. Letters will be sent out to impacted households in the area in order to inform them of the change. The renaming of SW Brooklyn Street was approved. The grievance/complaint regarding a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project was discussed next. The complaint regards repairs to the CDBG Hill project; Bennett informed the commissioners that the repairs on the Hill house were moving forward. Bennett announced that Gray Logging, LLC has requested to purchase 1.5 acres of property adjacent to their current business in the Industrial Park. The commissioners approved this request. Sterling Carroll of the Florida Rural Water Association briefed the commissioners on a Cross Connection Control Program/Backflow Prevention devices as he took the floor. Cross Connection, Carroll informed, means “any physical arrangement whereby a public water supply is connected, directly or indirectly, with any other water supply system, sewer, drain, conduit, pool, storage reservoir, plumbing fixture or any other device which contains or may contain contaminated water.....which may be capable of contamination to the public water supply as a result of backflow.” Backflow is when the flow of water reverses from its intended course and plays a role in possible water contamination. A Cross Connection Control Program is important for households and commercial businesses, as water in pipes or within irrigation systems may become contaminated. The City of Madison has failed to fully implement a Cross Connection Control Program and is not in compliance with state or federal regulations as well as its own ordinance. This lack of a plan has put the city's drinking water at risk. The commissioners discussed several options for the proposed plan and agreed to bring back the drafted plan at the meeting in March. Fire Chief Bruce Jordan informed the commissioners that the county-wide training for firefighters went very well and had “a good turnout.” Jordan commented that there would be attempts to schedule training every month for all departments of the county. Police Chief Ken Moore presented the Madison Police Department's monthly report and introduced Captain Tyrone Edwards. Edwards joined the MPD on Feb. 2 since Captain Willie McGhee retired on Jan. 9 after 38 years of service. Chief Moore stated that Madison is going to be well-served by Edwards, as he has a lot of experience in community affairs. Moore hopes to start up a police athletic league, a program that Madison currently does not have. Captain Edwards worked to bring a police athletic league into his former place of work, Homestead, Fl. and is optimistic that Madison could get the same program. “I can see big things happening [in Madison],” said Edwards. The monthly meeting scheduled for March 8 was moved to March 22, as newly-elected commissioners will be sworn in during that meeting. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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