City Council – Highlights from Jan. 26 Meeting
January 27, 2017
Utility Rate Increase
Council voted 5-0 to approve a flat 2.75 percent rate increase for Huntsville Utilities to support increased cost of operations.
Downtown Master Plan
The Huntsville City Council voted to hire Urban Design Associates to update the Downtown Huntsville Master Plan. Cost of the contract is $147,555. The Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based firm will be soliciting public input during its assessment process. The downtown master plan is more than 10 years old, and Urban Development Director Shane Davis says a great deal of it has been realized, and much as changed in the downtown area. The City must now determine new strategic sites for development, public parking, and a new City Hall.
- Council authorized the City to enter into a development and annexation agreement with Arora Properties, LLC, for a new urban revitalization project on the southeast corner of Bob Wallace and South Memorial Parkway, the present site of the Arora Technologies plant. The City agreed to split the cost of a $6 million new public parking garage (with a $3 million cap on the City’s contribution) to support the new 30,000 square foot retail development. The 5.5 acre site is currently located in a “tax island” and will be annexed into the City, allowing Huntsville to collect sales and property taxes from the development.
- Council also approved a $2,058,205.88 contract between the City of Huntsville and the low bidder, Reed Contracting, to begin the first phase of demolition on city-owned property, the former Sears building, at Madison Square Mall. The work includes demolition of the structure as well as regional storm water detention and grading for utility relocation.
Recreation – New Soccer Fields
Approved the hiring of Chapman Sisson Architects for $383,813 to design nine new soccer fields, restrooms, and parking as part of a Merrimack Park expansion. The fields will be constructed on the site of the Huntsville School for Technology off of Drake Avenue. A greenway will connect the soccer complex to Brahan Spring Park and to additional parking at Milton Frank Stadium. Design work should take about one year to complete and construction may be completed in two to three phases.
Dr. Everett Roper – appointed to the Madison County Department of Human Resources Board, Place 6, for a term to expire August 1, 2019 (Nominated by Will Culver)
Cutter Hughes – reappointed to the Huntsville Public Library Board for a term to expire on February 10, 2021. (Appointed by Bill Kling)