By Nick Nunn staff writer
The Madison City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution to adopt the fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget, totaling approximately $18,480,000, during the regular meeting on June 9. Despite a decrease of nearly $836,000 in the general fund budget from FY 2014 to FY 2015, the total budget shows an increase of more than $2,833,000 from FY 2014 to FY 2015. Capital project funds for the Stormwater Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and the administration building phase III construction make up more than $1,800,000 of the increase in the FY 2015 budget, with an additional increase of approximately $1,422,000 coming from the Water & Sewer Fund for the Northside Wastewater Treatment Plant conversion project. Council Member Joe DiLetto pointed out during the meeting that several of the city’s anticipated revenues have come in higher than expected after three-quarters of FY 2014. “The actuals are trending upward, showing more revenue than we expected,” said DiLetto. “It looks good.”
The city council also announced that they would be passing the Business Development Committee to the Chamber of Commerce. The council had discussed creating a Business Development Committee, which would work to guide potential business owners through the process of creating or expanding a business in Madison for the benefit of both parties, during their most recent work sessions. DiLetto stated that the purpose of the committee would be to remain “responsive and proactive” to the needs of entrepreneurs looking at Madison. He explained the decision to pass the project on to the Chamber of Commerce by saying that he felt that such a body would be overly encumbered by having to wait for regular monthly meetings or having to advertise meetings beforehand.
DiLetto said that the assistance that such a committee could provide to business owners is “desperately needed” and that there is “no reason why we can’t continue to improve.” “It’s supposed to be 100 percent warm and fuzzy,” said DiLetto. Madison City Manager David Nunn offered to have city staff give training sessions to future board members in order to show them exactly what the role of the city in the business creation process is. He also said that the process could also assist the city in developing practices and protocols that are friendlier to the entrepreneur. Nunn also said that the city is “pushing steadily” forward on crosswalk improvements.
He said that the city is now looking at a “two-step process,” which will have pedestrian-activated crosswalk lights coming in the second phase of improvements. “Rest assured that work is continuing on that,” said Nunn. The city council also approved the hotel/motel contract and the economic contract between Madison and the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce for FY 2015 and the grant contracts for the Morgan County African-American Museum, the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, and the Morgan County Historical Society, Inc. The council also voted to engage Treadwell, Tamplin & Co., Inc., for the purpose of the FY 2014 audit.