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County Commission round up

On Wednesday, March 25 at the Courthouse Annex, the Madison County Board of County Commissioners came together for their bi-monthly meeting at 4 p.m. After approving the agenda, the board opened the floor for petitions from the public. First to the podium was Gloria Austin, a Madison resident who is concerned about the traffic on Nixon Way due to the closing of Celosia Rd. [a sinkhole formed on Celosia last summer]. She stated the lack of access to her community could cause problems during emergencies. She presented a petition from 100 people in the neighborhood who wished to see the sinkhole fixed. Next, Betsy Rikard approached the podium on behalf of the Florida Health Department announcing their newest newsletter which will be distributed throughout the community in order to inform locals of the benefits offered by the Health Department. She then addressed the board on a separate issue as a concerned citizen. She informed the commissioners of the poor condition Flowers Road is in. She requested they consider looking into what it would take to have the road paved, as well as the intersection of Little Cat and Sullivan Steel, where the road is in such poor condition it has become a hazard for drivers. Next came department reports. Property Appraiser Leigh Barfield addressed the commissioners and informed them of AT&T's voluntary dismissal of the AT&T lawsuit. She then informed the board of the newest progress with the Nestle lawsuit. “Tom Finley, who is our attorney representing us in that [Nestle lawsuit], has contacted the man who did the appraisal in 2006-- it's been about nine years since we had that appraisal done,” said Barfield. “He has offered to do that appraisal for us again at the same price he charged us then, which is $15,000, which includes travel and expenses.” Next, the Sheriff took the floor, updating the board on a vehicle the Madison Sheriff's Department received from Leon County as a gift. The vehicle will come in handy during high-priority emergencies. Lastly, Tax Collector Lisa Tuten approached the board and updated them on the progress of the new driver's license division, asserting they were looking for a June installation and were planning a training session with Taylor County's driver's license department. After department reports, the board unanimously consented the agenda. Public works approached the podium to discuss the revised priority list of road projects. It was time to decide which projects would be sent to the Department of Transportation for grant consideration, as submissions are due April 11. Public works had compiled a list with projects filed under different categories. They placed the projects they felt had the best shot of receiving grant funding from DOT at the top of each list. The board considered public works' suggestions and voted unanimously to submit their suggested projects for grant consideration. Next, the topic of new driveways on Country Kitchen Road was addressed again. This time, Commissioner Hamrick made a motion to allow the landowners of the Northwood subdivision who border the west right of way on Country Kitchen, to apply for driveway permits. The motion failed. The board began to discuss other options and ended up tabling the issue as they felt more research is needed. The meeting was then paused to acknowledge Deputy Clerk, Ramona Dickinson's 35 years of service in Madison County. Clerk of Court Tim Sanders read a resolution acknowledging her hard work and dedication. The board unanimously approved the resolution. Next, Jeanne Bass approached the board with an update regarding the disposition of county-owned property in Greenville. The small piece of property has little value and is not big enough to be built upon. Surrounding property owners were contacted to see if anyone was interested in purchasing the segment. Only one person expressed interest in it and, according to the statutes, the board may, after sending notice of its intent by certified mail, consent a private sale without receiving bids or publishing notice. The board unanimously voted to sell the piece of property to the interested party at $500, a fair value determined with the help of Property Appraiser Barfield. The last agenda item was the possible acceptance of a property donation by Wells Fargo. The property is a vacant lot in Lee. The board voted to accept the property on the condition that the Town of Lee is not interested. The next County Commission meeting is scheduled for April 8 in the courthouse annex, at 9 a.m. The Madison Board of County Commissioners meets the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.

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