Madison city leaders pass $42 million budget

A $42 million budget was approved for the city of Madison

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Leaders in the city of Madison have passed a $42 million budget.

City employees will get a 3 percent pay raise, but that’s not the only new expense.

This year’s budget is $4 million less than last years, but Mayor Paul Finley says that’s not because of the coronavirus. In fact, sales tax has increased.

“We had two positives and one negative when it came to COVID. The positive is because most of our revenue comes from grocery stores, people spend a lot of money there. Internet sales tax was another one, where it was very positive and we were proactive in obtaining a little over $2 million from cares act funding. Obviously the negative was Town Madison and not being able to play baseball,” said Finley.

The Trash Pandas had to cancel this year’s season. Although they became an entertainment venue, the amount of money city leaders in Madison thought the team would generate for the budget, didn’t match up.

“The good news for the city is, we have been banking lodging tax since 2018. For this year, we’re going to be fine as far as paying our bond. Next year is critical,” said Finley.

One area where the city of Madison will spend more money this year, is with their police department.

“We’re adding vehicles that they need. Five police cars. We’re also increasing pay because we’re currently competing with the community,” said Finley.

There is also a long list of infrastructure projects included in the $42 million budget.

“Two projects continuing are Hughes Road and Wall Triana. Those are major choke points that were making a big difference on. Two areas where we know we need to move traffic through intersections are Balch and Gillespie which are factored into this year’s budget for a roundabout. Lime Quarry Road and Intergraph Way is another one where will do a roundabout to be prepared for baseball traffic,” said Finley.

Mayor Finley says if the Trash Pandas don’t play baseball this coming season, they’ll have to make changes to the budget.

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