By Nick Nunn staff writer

Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan discussed recent expansions of industry and commercial businesses in Madison, including Mannington and the recently opened Dairy Queen (DQ), during a town hall meeting held at St. Paul AME Church last Thursday, June 5. She also highlighted what that expansion means for workers in the Madison area, stating that there are “a lot of good, hiring jobs out there.” After discussing the Mannington expansion, which will add more than 200 jobs to their current operation, Callahan also stated that Flambeau and Rema TipTop are both adding a second shift onto their current work schedule. According to Callahan, the opening of the Dairy Queen created an additional 60 jobs, approximately 55 of which were local hires.

Council Member Joe DiLetto said that the Chrysler Dealership that is now under development will house a service station and that the operation should hire from 35 to 40 employees. Callahan said that the city is “very excited that these kinds of opportunities are coming” to Madison. She also reminded those in attendance that a jobs database is available at the city’s website, www.madisonga.com, and that users can sign up to have newly posted job listings sent to their personal email addresses. Callahan also discussed the ongoing stormwater project in the Canaan neighborhood, which is set to be finished in August. Although the city was granted a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for stormwater improvements in October of 2012, Madison had to wait until they were able to acquire the necessary easements for the property, which was completed in March 2014. Callahan said that new curb and gutter has been installed on Whitehall and Mapp Streets and that Burney Street is currently under progress.

Rev. Cedric Cotton of St. Paul AME said that the work being done to ease the neighborhood’s issues with stormwater flooding has been “efficient” and that the contractors have been “very cooperative” when working with the public. “I’m just excited with what I’m seeing,” said Cotton. Callahan said that the city will be working to repave Terris Drive and Newman Drive using funds from the Georgia Department of Transportation’s Local Maintenance and Improvement Program. Madison Mayor Fred Perriman, who was in attendance at the town hall, lamented the low turnout for the meeting, which was geared toward informing the citizens in the area of the future developments in their neighborhood. “I wish this room was full, so people would know what’s going on,” said Perriman.