News Briefs

New Madison Development

The Magnolia District, a new development coming to downtown Madison, will bring fine dining, luxury retail and professional office space to the area.

The development will be located on nine acres in downtown Madison near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Magnolia Street.

The Magnolia District will include 10 buildings, with 71,000 square feet of space for commercial opportunities.

The developers, Johnston and Chuck Bell, are working with the city to blend the new development with the Madison Square development that the city has planned for the adjacent property. They hope to break ground on the project in the fall.

“I am so excited about the Magnolia District,” Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said. “I know it will be a beautiful addition to downtown Madison and will be a great complement to our Madison Square project.”

According to Greg Johnston, an attorney, developer and contractor in Madison, the project has been in the works since 2004, as it has been his goal to restore historic buildings in the area and recreate historically accurate new buildings.

Since 2004, Johnston and his parents, Brent and Cynthia Johnston, have restored and built five buildings in the area for professional office space.

The new development got underway in November 2018 when Johnston and his partner Bell purchased the future site of the Magnolia District.

“We have an appreciation for history and southern architecture so this site is the perfect location to create a development that will be inspired by the architecture of Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina,” Bell said.



R’land Proceeds with Bonds

The Ridgeland board of aldermen recently voted to move forward with issuing bonds to fund several city projects.

The vote closed out the protest period, as no one was present at the meeting to oppose it. 

According to Mayor Gene McGee, the city will issue more than $19 million in bonds to finance a new city hall, Lake Harbour extension, turf for each field at Freedom Ridge Park and a new parking lot at Walcott Park.

Mayor Gene McGee said the city could issue up to $19,960,000 in bonds. However, he said they may not need quite that much. 

Since no protest was filed before the May 7 meeting of the Ridgeland board of aldermen, the board will move forward.

There has never been a protest when the city has issued bonds in the past, according to McGee.

“We’ve never had a protest, because of the way we issue our bonds. We never issue them when we have to raise taxes,” McGee said. “We haven’t raised taxes in 30 years.”

Next, the city will advertise. Because of the city’s bond rating, they will get a good interest rate, McGee said.

“We get good, competitive bids,” McGee said. “Then we will look at all the bonds and sell to the best bidder with the best interest rate.”He hopes the city will be breaking ground on its new two-story, 30,739-square foot city hall in June.



Updating Policy

The Madison County board of supervisors is working to update its road claim policy.

The update to the policy comes on the heels of a couple of county residents approaching the board to have claims paid after damage was done to their vehicles on a county road.

The county’s current policy states that the county is not liable unless the defect in the road was the direct cause of damage and “was not apparent or discovered by the exercise of reasonable diligence.

The policy also states that the county is not liable if they made a repair to the road up to seven days after it was reported.

In February, Madison resident Shannon Lott asked to be reimbursed for vehicle repairs after his son hit two large potholes on Bozeman Road.

After two tires were damaged and the vehicle had to be towed to Gluckstadt for repairs, Lott racked up $795.68 in fees to address the damage.

Ward Four Supervisor David Bishop made a motion to pay the claim, and Lott was later reimbursed for the damage.

Another resident approached the board at a meeting last month asking the county for reimbursement for damage done to their vehicle while traveling on a county road.

This has prompted the county to review its claims policy. The board plans to vote on the new policy at the next meeting on May 20.



Hazardous Waste Day

Residents of Madison County looking to dispose of old, unusable items will have an opportunity to do so.

Madison County, the city of Madison and the city of Ridgeland are partnering to present Madison County Household Hazardous Disposal Day.

The event will be Saturday, May 25 from 8 a.m. until noon at Madison Central High School. 

Vendors, including Shred-It, Interstate Battery, Magnolia Data Solutions, McGraw Rental and Supply, Waste Management, Madison Police Department, Care Environmental and Southern Tire Recycling, will help residents dispose of these materials for free.

Acceptable items include aerosols, old electronics, antifreeze, batteries, cords and cables, flammable liquids, paint, prescription drugs and more.

Air conditioners, dishwashers, dryers, light bulbs, medical waste, nuclear waste, radioactive waste, refrigerators, thermostats and washers will not be accepted.



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