Madison deeds acreage to board of education

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By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Madison City Council voted to deed approximately 10.4 acres of the city’s Municipal Park on College Drive to the Morgan County Board of Education (BOE) so that the BOE will be able to use Education Local Option Sales Tax (ELOST) funds to make improvements on the park.

Madison City Manager David Nunn stated that the BOE deeded the park to the city “30-plus years ago” for improvements, and that the property has remained in Madison’s ownership since then.

The property that the city is transferring back to the BOE will exclude the Morgan County Recreation Department’s gym, a portion of land currently being leased by American Tower, and the driveway leading to the cell tower on that piece of the property.

Nunn stated that there would be little operational difference after the transfer; only that the city will no longer have to insure the transferred property.

“There’s not going to be a lot of change,” said Nunn.

BOE Chair Nelson Hale stated that one of the first projects funded by the ELOST funds will be to improve the lighting at the park’s baseball fields. The BOE also intends to have the park ready to host the Morgan County softball teams by their next season.

Currently, the softball teams play at Heritage Park. Upon the recommendation of Mayor Fred Perriman, the motion to approve the transfer of ownership will first be subject to an appraisal of the deeded property.

During the city manager’s report, Nunn stated that he would be meeting with a UGA graduate student to look into the possibility of converting some of Madison’s official vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Nunn stated that, if the savings created by using CNG can offset the cost of converting the vehicles and the construction of a compression station, he would begin seriously looking at the viability of the project.

Council Member Joe DiLetto described the potential project as “such a positive thing to be done,” noting that CNG also burns more cleanly than gasoline.

Nunn said that using CNG would create a “new profit center” for the city and that he would welcome county participation in the project.

Madison Main Street Director Ann Huff proposed that the city engage with the Morgan County Middle School in order to create a local judging of the Georgia Municipal Association’s annual “If I were Mayor, I would…” contest.

Huff suggested that the essay entries from Morgan County’s sixth graders be judged locally in order to promote participation in the program.

She proposed that local contest winners have their essay and pictures run in local media outlets and then be able to shadow the mayor for a day to get some idea of how local elected officials govern municipalities.

“We’ll make it worthwhile,” said Perriman.

The city council also approved:

a bed and breakfast license for Lisa Longo at 235 North Second Street, Madison, for Saffold House Bed & Breakfast.

a motion to appoint David DiRocco to the Main Street Advisory Board for a two-year term.

a motion to table a public hearing for a conditional use permit for tennis court lighting at 503 North Main Street, pending additional information regarding the conditional use request.

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