Nick Nunn, Staff Writer

The Madison City Council voted to award a construction contract in the amount of approximately $608,000 to Gary’s Grading & Pipeline Company, Inc., of Monroe, for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) drainage improvements.

Madison City Manager David Nunn reminded that the CDBG is a federal grant, and that they are obligated to give notice of award to the lowest qualified bid, which was the bid from Gary’s Grading & Pipeline Company.

“This is something that we really needed,” said Mayor Fred Perriman after the council voted to award the contract Nunn told the council that they will be asked to approve a contract with Gary’s Grading & Pipeline sometime in the coming meetings.

“This isn’t the last step,” said Nunn. Madison Planning Director Monica Callahan commended the city’s ability to acquire the necessary property easements for the proposed drainage improvements for less than $5,000, when they anticipated that the cost would be closer to $20,000.

Nunn stated that the biggest reason for the reduction in cost was the donation of easements to the city free of charge. Callahan also wanted to thank Georgia Civil, who aided the city with the drainage improvement plans.

“It’s nice to have a local firm to work with,” said Callahan. The council also approved a resolution to accept a $100,000 state grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for the development of the One Mile Branch Trail and the Round Bowl Spring Park 7 Trail.

Callahan stated that the grant was awarded to Madison last year, but holdups at the state level prevented progress until now.

She also said that the grant would require an $82,400 in-kind contribution from the city as well. Callahan said that the city is attempting to utilize current line-item budget expenditures as part of the city’s contribution.

Nunn said that there would not be “a tremendous amount” of outlay from the city. “We try to loop these things in with things we are already doing,” said Nunn. Nunn also noted that grant funds are actually federal funds being routed through the state and, as such, are subject to standard federal restrictions.

He said that they do not currently have an exact cost for their proposed improvements, but that the city will “fit the money” to the project to ensure that the grant funds will be used appropriately. Council Member Rick Blanton was reelected as Mayor Pro Tempore and was reappointed to serve as the council’s representative on the Audit Committee, as was Mayor Fred Perriman. Perriman also appointed Council Member Carrie Peters-Reid to serve as the council’s liaison to the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce.

During the meeting, the city council also made several public service appointments. In addition to reappointing existing members on the Cemetery Stewardship Commission (CSC), Greenspace Commission (GSC), Corridor Design Committee, and Historic Preservation Commission (HPC), the council named new members to boards.

Former Mayor Bruce Gilbert was appointed to fill a vacated seat on the CSC until June 2014, and Melissa Piche was appointed to serve until June 2016.

The council also voted to appoint Cynthia Reed and Eric Joyce to fill vacated spots on the HPC until December 2014 and December 2015, respectively. Additionally, Robert Trulock was appointed to serve of the GSC, with his term ending June 2016. The council also granted an alcohol license to Miriam Escobar for Willy’s Mex Mex Grill #2, Inc., at 863 North Main Street.