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31ST DISTRICT: Trimble volleyball beats Owen in 4 to clinch 1st-ever 8th Region berth

Council investing in city with $21 million budget
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Madison City Council adopted a 2022 budget of more than $21 million at its meeting on Tuesday outlining the priorities of Madison Mayor Bob Courtney, focusing on public safety, economic opportunity, infrastructure and quality of life.

“We have a great budget teed up for 2022,” Courtney said. “The largest budget in the city’s history. Over $21 million across our general budget in utility operations, but capital investment is going to be in the 10s of millions of dollars coming from public-private partnerships that we’ve created across the community to really accelerate economic development downtown and on the hilltop. Great things are in store.”

The budget for the 2022 fiscal year was approved by a 5-0 vote of city council. The $21 million plan includes $13.1 million in general operations and another $8 million for operating the city owned water/sewer utility.

“Our business-minded approach to good government is leading the city to new heights. I am thankful for the support of the city council in passing a budget that will help achieve our goals. From investing in community safety, to expanding housing and economic opportunities, to improving our park system, the city is rapidly transforming toward a booming and bright future,” Courtney said.

The 2022 budget increases public safety spending to $4.6 million, the largest such investment in the city’s history. The funds will be used to strengthen law enforcement resources, enhance training for fire and police, purchase equipment, and implement the city’s sidewalk improvement plan.

The budget, along with additional funding sources, will increase the city’s investment in the P.A.C.E. Grant Program and blight elimination efforts to $560,000 over the next year. This program has already produced $4.3 million in investment in the community in less than two years of existence.

Courtney cited other highlights of 2022 public-private capital investments the city is pursuing including: $2 million in street improvements, $1.8 million from the city’s Redevelopment Commission for infrastructure and quality of life investments across the city, a $6.7 million bridge replacement project by the City of Madison Port Authority, a $15 million in clean drinking water improvements project, a $2.6 million restoration of the Crystal Beach pool facility, $3 million in sidewalk construction along Clifty Drive, $5 million in T.I.F. District investments to support industry expansion, $14 million for Destination Madison R.E.A.D.I. projects for housing, infrastructure and quality of place opportunities, $3 million in hilltop investments for housing, park upgrades, and infrastructure to support approximately $35 million in private investment opportunities, and $8 million for City of Madison Utility operations.

In related business, the council also unanimously approved ordinances to fix salaries of officers and employees of the city and compensation of elected officials for 2022.

“Tuesday’s City Council meeting was very eventful,” Courtney said. “Council unanimously approved multiple resolutions and ordinances that further our administration’s strategy for a clean, safe, and beautiful community.”

Council approves land purchase for city's gateway
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The process of beautifying the gateway into Madison from the Milton-Madison Bridge advanced again with the unanimous approval of a resolution by city council at its meeting Tuesday to acquire property at 150 Harrison Street, which was the site of Bullock’s River City Marathon for many years.

The proposed purchase price for the 0.3-acre property is $100,000, from John and Libby Kinman, which resolution stated is below the $182,500 average of two appraisals as r by law.

“This property is on the east side adjacent to our new gateway as part of our gateway development strategy,” said Madison Mayor Bob Courtney, who said the Kinmans wanted to see the site in the city’s hands as Madison works toward developing the area at the intersection of Second and Harrison streets as the new gateway. “We are grateful to John and Elizabeth Kinman, not only for their investment in Madison, but also their great contributions to our gateway strategies.

“This is something we’ve been talking about as a strategy for quite awhile about improving our gateway,” said Courtney, who said it will be a “great complement” to the Indiana Department of Transportation investment for the entryway.

Courtney said the city has not yet defined its plans for the property, but once acquired “we can begin looking at that whole corridor more comprehensively. He said the gateway was part of what has been included in Our Southern Indiana Regional Development Authority’s application for the READI (Regional Economic Acceleration Development Initiative) grant through the Indiana Development Economic Corporation.

Board member Patrick Thevenow said he appreciated the Mayor’s work on the gateway. “It was a priority for me,” said Thevenow, since he began serving on city council. “It’s going to be great for the city.”

“It’s an opportunity and it really is changing our gateway as you come into Madison,” Courtney noted. “We’ve talked about it for a very, very long time, and now it’s coming to fruition.”

In other business, the council:

• Heard a report by Karen Rohfling on work by the Tree Board concerning plans to plant 20 to 30 trees in parks and along streets over the next year. She noted that 500 trees have been planted since 2008.

Courtney thanked the tree board for its work. “There’s nothing more important in a beautiful community and it starts with trees. I totally believe in your mission and the quality of life it adds to the community.”

There was also discussion on coordinating with the city in regard to work on its sidewalk asset management plan to repair approximately 9 miles of sidewalks. “A lot of the sidewalk damage has been because of trees, and we need to collaborate on how to replace those trees,” Courtney said.

Rohfling agreed, noting the efforts by the tree board focus on utilizing trees that best co-exist with the sidewalks. “Trees change and do things you don’t think they’re going to do, but we’re always thinking about that” and working toward ways to keep the trees from impacting the sidewalks.

• Approved a Historic Preservation Grant Nonreverting Fund which was required in order to accept a grant from DHPA (Department of Historic Preservation and Archaeology) for an update of the city’s historic guidelines.

• Heard the first reading of an ordinance amendment recommended by the Madison Plan Commission to change zoning at 1817 Orchard Street from general business to medium density residential.

Charlie’s Beat
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“I was the typical Madison music kid,” relates Tanner Keegan Owings. “I took piano lessons from Archie Coons. I was into theater and staging musicals. I had a high school band called Temperance that played the county fairs and the usual stuff. In addition to piano, I play guitar, and bass, plus I’m a singer.

“So when I graduated high school in 1999 I went directly to Florida and entered an intense, hands-on music production program at Full Sail University. They had us studying and playing all hours of the day and night, getting us ready for the true musician’s lifestyle!

“After Full Sail I got an internship at Transcontinental Records, which exposed me to a lot of new influences and new people. I ended up joining a prog metal band called Indorphine that really helped up my level as a musician.

“With Indorphine I got to tour for about seven years, opening for a lot of bigger bands and making contacts in the industry. Two of those contacts, which would prove very fortunate later on, was Mark Tremonti, a founding member of the band Creed, and Sam Rivers, the bass player for Limp Bizkit.

“Both of these very successful guys, Mark and Sam, were big fans of our band Indorphine, and they would help us any way they could. They all remember what it was like coming up, and these guys were happy to pave the way and give us a hand when they could.

“Anyway, some years went by, I guess it was around 2014, and I’m still living in Florida, playing with my own band, which is called the Tanner Keegan Band, and I get a call from Sam Rivers. Limp Bizkit was going out on tour and Sam needed a bass tech.

“Now for those readers who aren’t familiar with the crew of a super popular rock band, each of the musicians has a ‘tech’ who acts as a kind of assistant. In my case as the bass tech, it’s my job to make sure Sam’s bass guitars are always ready to go, in proper tune and with fresh strings.

“There are also guitar techs and drum techs. It lets the band members relax and not worry about their instruments. They just step on stage when it’s time to play, we hand them their guitar or bass or drumsticks, and they know everything will be set up properly and ready to go.

“If it sounds like a pretty cushy job, you’d be correct. I’ve been to Japan, Korea, all across the US, of course. My most recent tour right before COVID was Russia.

“So in 2015 Limp Bizkit is the headliner on this thing called Shiprock, where all these bands and fans go out on a cruise ship for a week of partying and music. The band Tremonti was also on the cruise and their bass player, who happened to be Wolfgang Van Halen, had to leave.

“Like I said, I knew Mark Tremonti from my Indorphine days, so he asked if I want to step in and play bass. I’ve been the bass player for Tremonti ever since!

“Right now Tremonti’s new record ‘Marching In Time’ is No. 1 in the U.K. in the Rock & Metal category, and it’s No. 2 in Germany. I think it hit like No. 36 on the US Billboard chart.

“So I have that going on. Plus I’ll still go out with Limp Bizkit when they need me. And in between tours I play a lot with my own band down in Florida.

“I’ve actually played some in Madison on my visits home. I played the Lighthouse last summer, and I jammed with Jimmy at the Taproom one night. It’s really awesome to see so many great local musicians here in Madison, getting behind the live music scene. I actually wouldn’t mind ending up back here some day!”


It used to be, radio airplay was the mark of success for a musician. Today it’s more about Spotify streams and YouTube views. And based on that criteria, the country artist Alexis Taylor is very popular indeed. She brings her polished Nashville sound (and 20,000-plus YouTube followers!) to Mad Paddle this Friday night. If classical is more your thing, the first of the Madison Performing Arts concert series shows is also this Friday, with two pianists at Trinity Methodist church. And on Saturday, be sure to get down to Mulberry and Second for the Grand Celebration of the huge Kindness mural. Artists have been working just about around the clock to complete it! Rusty Bladen and Bluebird Alley Band will be providing the entertainment from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.

This Week in Music

Friday, October 22

Central Hotel — Amy Noel

Mad Paddle — Alexis Taylor

Riverboat Inn — Joe & Deano

Off-Broadway Taproom — Noah Smith

Trinity Methodist — Pianist Curtis Pavey & Helen Hyesoo Kim

American Legion — Dynamite Don & the Dynamos (open to public)

Moose — Fullmoon Rising (open to public)

Saturday, October 23

Mulberry & Second — Mural Celebration with Rusty Bladen & Bluebird Alley Band (2 p.m.)

Next to Sallie’s Ice Cream — Grand Opening of Madison Music Studio (2:30 p.m.)

Central Hotel — Smokin’ Guns

Riverboat Inn — Sandy Pickett

Broadway Tavern — Chicken Dinner Band

Thomas Family Winery — Highland Reign

Lighthouse — Jhonny & Sallie

Mad Paddle — Fabulous Hickbillies

Off-Broadway Taproom — Darryl Hewitt

Monday, October 25

Crafted Coffee — Open Mic Night

Tuesday, October 26

Off-Broadway Taproom — Open Mic Night

Wednesday, October 27

Central Hotel — Jimmy Davis

COVID deaths increase in Jefferson, Trimble, Carroll
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COVID-19-related deaths have been reported in three area counties this week — eight total deaths since last week — with Jefferson County adding two and Trimble and Carroll counties each adding three.

On Wednesday, information from the Indiana Department of Health showed Jefferson County’s death total during the pandemic at 97.

In information from the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Carroll County’s total increased from 23 last week to 26. Meanwhile, Trimble County, which added three more deaths late last week, reported another three deaths this week to increase its overall total to 17.

Both Jefferson and Switzerland counties remain in the “Orange” metric for medium to high spread while incidence rates in Trimble and Carroll counties are keeping both in “Red” for high spread.

The positivity rate in Jefferson County is 8.2% as the county now has 5,092 cases of COVID-19, an increase of 46 since last Friday. Switzerland County’s positivity rate is 10.9% with 1,348 cases of COVID-19 during the pandemic, up by 9 since last Friday.

Trimble County’s positivity rate is 11.76% while Carroll County’s positivity rate is 8.67%. Trimble’s overall total of COVID cases during the pandemic was reported Tuesday at 1,188 while Carroll County is at 1,841.

City approves $10K for new kennels at animal shelter
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The Jefferson County Animal Shelter will be getting new kennels after funding was approved by the Madison City Council at its meeting on Tuesday along with funding from the Jefferson County Commissioners.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, approval was given to move $5,000 from the general economic development fund and $5,000 from the rainy day fund for a city contribution of $10,000 toward buying 20 new kennels, estimated to cost $1,000 each. Later in the meeting, County Commissioner Bobby Little, who was in attendance, announced that the Commissioners will provide the other $10,000 for the purchase.

Hannah Fagen, the city’s director of community relations who was recently appointed to the county’s Animal Shelter Advisory Board, said the kennels now available at the shelter were “very dangerous for the dogs.” She said advisory board member Dr. Joy Barron, veterinarian and owner of the Madison Animal Clinic, has found kennels that have bite guards, top coverings, and are much safer for the dogs, and that the shelter board wants to order 20 of those kennels.

She said the new kennels will also be a way to keep dogs safely outside while the shelter is being cleaned, and to give them some outdoor time. “I appreciate the Mayor and the city for providing funding for the kennels,” said Fagen.

Fagen also provided an update on improvements being made to the animal shelter over the last month after the previous shelter director went on medical leave.

“We were in a dire situation,” said Fagen, noting concerns about conditions at the shelter, and whether cats and dogs were being fed. Since then Fagen said conditions have improved and efforts are currently underway to hire an interim director with interviews scheduled for this week.

She said the advisory board needs to work toward reviewing the interlocal agreement for the animal shelter between the city and the county. “There might be some changes we need to make,” said Fagen, adding the last time it was reviewed was in 2007.

Fagen said the land and lease agreement needs to be reviewed — the city owns the land where the animal shelter is located but the county owns the building — since there was little awareness by the city that it owned the land until recently. She said city workers have recently cleaned up the area around the shelter.

Madison Mayor Bob Courtney said “a tremendous amount of progress has been made in a very short time” and emphasized there needs to be a commitment to the animal shelter.

“The animal shelter has gone unnoticed for a really long time,” he said, commending action by several people “that in a short period of time a lot of corrective action has already been taken.”

Little thanked city council for Fagen’s appointment to the advisory board.

“She’s the spark we needed. Thanks to the mayor, the council and the city for the donation for the kennels,” Little said. “I spoke with the other two commissioners and they’re in agreement we’re going to put up the other half up for the kennels. With the strides we have made since Sept. 4, I was sick” by the conditions at the animal shelter. “I didn’t know what we were going to do, but we’re going to get there,” and progress is being made, but it’s going to take some time. “We are really on the road to recovery.”