Madison council addresses crosswalks, railroad arms
By Stephanie Johns
Safety pertaining to crosswalks, intersections, and railroad crossings was a major topic of discussion during Monday night’s meeting of the Madison City Council.
City Manager David Nunn said they are looking into crosswalk enhancement and intersection enhancement, specifically the four-way stop at Washington and Jefferson streets.
“We’ll get four-way stops sooner rather than later,” he said. “Some redesigns will have to come at a later date.”
Two pedestrians were struck by a car and one died from injuries received earlier this year at the intersection of South Main and Burnett streets.
Councilman Joe DiLetto then shared that he had received a phone call from someone that had been stuck between the railroad crossing arms. Nunn added that he also had received a call, this one from a woman who said that the arms were not working properly.
Nunn said that some people are going around the railroad arms, “That’s never a good idea.”
He added that if someone was caught between them, that was the only time it would be a good idea.
City Planner Monica Callahan shared details of the $15,000 Let’s Play grant and said they are seeking a $30,000 private donation to leverage the grant money. She asked that the council approve her request to have the mayor sign the grant acceptance letter, which is due back to Let’s Play by Sept. 19. Council agreed and her request was approved.
During his manager’s report Nunn said they had ordered equipment for 300 meters to be radio read and that they will work with Georgia Power to utilize the Southern Link network.
As for the building removal project, Nunn shared that the cost to have asbestos removed and abated would be as much as to have the buildings themselves removed.
The first building is a residence located at 408 W. Washington St. while the second building was a dry cleaning business located at 1281 Atlanta Highway.
“It’s $11,047 for both those buildings,” he said, noting that the lion’s share was at the dry cleaners.
For their next order of business Nunn presented an update on water treatment plant upgrades. He said that they had had to apply to the FCC for radio licenses and had received those. They have ordered their radio equipment and done their background work.
Nunn then shared that the city had experienced its first day of labor savings because they had one employee driving a residential sanitation truck and one person collecting solid waste instead of two employees collecting solid waste. The second employee was reassigned to another department. Nunn added that some neighborhoods on the Friday route had not received their trash carts.
Following Nunn’s report, Callahan shared that they will schedule a Town Hall meeting about storm water in District 5 and that they need Planned Residential Development feedback for their work session.
The city applied for a $500,000 Community Block Development Grant in the fall of 2011 to benefit the Canaan neighborhood, which has spillover and flooding in residents’ yards each time it rains.
Huff then shared that three businesses have or will close this month and that three more are coming. The Tree House, Meiere House Antiques, and Southern Charms are closing.
A clothing store aimed at teenagers is going in on West Washington Street, a probation company is moving in at the old county commissioner’s location, and an attorney has rented Hannah’s House.
City Attorney Joe Reitman shared that they had a “housekeeping matter” that has come up that deals with the sale of alcohol. He noted that the city’s alcohol ordinance went from 43 to 17 pages and that they needed to revisit a portion of that to ensure consistency. He then referred to the times of alcohol sales.
The new ordinance was adopted during an August city council meeting and allows alcohol to be served between 12:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. Sundays. Retailers may use their discretion whether or not to extend the license to 1 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
Mayor and council approved the clarification to amend the Madison City Code updating the condensed Chapter 6, Alcohol Regulations, Sunday Sales.
Reitman then referred to the amendment to clarify City Code Section 14-115, which pertains to dogs, replacing old definitions with new ones from state law. He said there were not “comprehensive rewrites” and recommended putting off comprehensive rewrites for a couple of weeks so that the mayor and council may have a chance to review it. He added that the changes are, “literally copying state law into ordinance.” The amendment was passed.
Regarding the solid waste ordinance, Nunn said that the ordinance before the council was a “more comprehensive ordinance for solid waste” in that it was more specific than what they had “brushed over” in the past.
Nunn said the ordinance also shows “what we’re doing and what we’re following in the city.” For example, the ordinance now clearly states that project contractors are responsible for their own removal, as opposed to say, leaving a removed tree at the side of the road for the city to pick up.
“This is something we’ve needed to update for some time,” Nunn said.
Discussion then was open to public comment.
Madison resident David Land shared his concerns about the wording pertaining to homeowners being responsible if the trash cart is lost or stolen.
Land then recommended that the council require homeowners to notify the city if they move but that the city would not necessarily have to pick up the trash cart.
Land’s recommendations were taken into consideration and the ordinance was passed with them.
Mayor and council then considered and passed the Morgan County Hazard Mitigation Plan as it is an update put together by the state that the state then asked the counties to sign off on it.
Resident Laura Butler invited the mayor and council to attend an unveiling of a portrait of her late husband, Walter Curtis Butler Jr., to be held at noon Sept. 15 at the African American Museum.
Following her announcement the meeting was adjourned.
Printed in the September 13 edition.