The City of Madison added another piece to its US 421 gateway to Madison project Tuesday with a resolution to purchase the former Bullock’s River City Marathon site (left), at 150 Harrison Street, for $100,000 to go with property purchased earlier on the west side of Harrison at the Milton-Madison Bridge. “It’s an opportunity and it really is changing our gateway as you come into Madison,” Mayor Bob Courtney said. “We’ve talked about it for a very, very long time, and now it’s coming to fruition.”

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.