MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — “Every day in Madison County is a good day,” according to Madison County Commission Chairman Mac McCutcheon.
The Chairman, who was appointed to the position by Governor Kay Ivey in January, gave his first ‘State of the County’ address on Tuesday. The address was presented at a sold-out luncheon put on by the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce.
Chairman McCutcheon said he has spent the past 10 months getting to know the other County Commissioners and familiarizing himself with the various county departments.
“You look at what the commission district needs are, working with the commissioners, and then as I mentioned today, I visited all of the departments,” he said in an interview with News 19. “I want to hear what’s working and what’s not working.”
During his address, the Commission Chairman said road projects and improving water supply are two top priorities right now.
He said the commission has worked with the Madison County Engineering Department and has drawn up a 10-year infrastructure plan that includes making $101 million dollars worth of improvements. Part of that plan was addressing roads and intersections that need improvement.
“We were looking at the traffic flow because many of our county roads are feeder roads onto those main thoroughfares,” he said. McCutcheon said the recent population growth and increase in new construction in our community have caused strain on many roads.
In addition to spending money to improve current problem spots, the commission is looking into the future.
“By planning ahead, and looking at our long-range planning, we’re able to allocate money to those certain areas that are growing, which is vitally important,” he said.
The County Commission provided News 19 with access to a map that shows the 29 improvement projects. Some of the projects have already been completed, such as the roundabout at the intersection of Jordan Road and Homer Nance Road, but many are still in the design and planning stages.
In addition to road improvements, the County is set to spend $50 million on water projects.
“One of the things that we’re working on is storage capacity, where we can store water during those peak times,” he said. “We’re going to invest $10 million dollars in a new water tank system which will be in the north part of the county, so it will help our growth.”
McCutcheon said the growth in the region has put strain on departments like the Waste Department. He said they will be looking into that.
The Commission Chairman also said all volunteer fire departments across the county will be receiving some improvements and upgraded equipment.
An area of concern within the county is the court system, according to McCutcheon.
While he praised the work done by the Madison County District Attorney’s Office and the various judges, he said the caseloads are piling up, and more resources are needed.
During his speech, he made this plea: “Additional judges are needed, Montgomery I’m speaking to you, the legislature I’m speaking to you, judges are needed to support our Madison County justice system.”
He said in 2022, the Madison County District Attorney’s Office prosecuted 26,515 cases. “As we look to the new year, those cases are increasing and the caseload is increasing and we’re going to have to fulfill the demand.”
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McCutcheon said one new judge was recently brought on board, and they’ve been set up in a courtroom. However, he said retired judges are being brought in on a “temporary” basis to add support.
The Chairman also said quality of life upgrades will be a big part of what is next to come. He said they will make improvements to outdoor recreation and county recreation centers.
The next Madison County Commission meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 8th at 10:00 a.m. on the 3rd floor of the Madison County Courthouse. People interested in what’s going on in the county are encouraged to attend regular commission meetings.