Rick Patrick: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Madison had the opportunity to show off for several community leaders on Wednesday June 28, when the City of Madison served as host for the Second Annual Competitive Florida Partnership Symposium. Community leaders from Havana, Newberry, White Springs, Gadsden County, Archer, and many others gathered at the Main Street Playhouse in downtown Madison to listen to speakers and discuss matters pertaining to economic and community development, entrepreneurship and small business growth, recreation, eco-tourism, and more. Those in attendance represented communities that had been awarded Competitive Florida grants from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. Additionally, representatives from the University of Florida, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, and several other development and planning agencies were on hand to contribute to the symposium. So far, 16 communities, including Madison, have been awarded grants to assist with a wide variety of areas. These include grants for infrastructure, economic development, assistance with land-use planning, assistance to help people overcome barriers to employment, and more. Currently, the City of Madison is waiting to hear results of a grant application for an after-school program with local youth.
Those in attendance also took a tour of Madison that included visits to the Treasures and Beggs Museums in downtown Madison. “Madison seems like a nice little town, I think I'll come back for a day trip to explore the town a little more,” said Dan Pennington, a Planning Analyst with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, in Tallahassee.