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Finley: State of Madison is ‘bustling, incredible, enjoyable’

MADISON — Mayor Paul Finley describes Madison, once only a bedroom suburb of Huntsville, as a “sleepy” town turned into a “bustling, incredible, enjoyable’’ one that has recently been ranked as the state’s ninth largest.

But, he adds, the burgeoning city hasn’t lost its small-town charm.

“We still close main streets for parades,’’ he told citizens, visitors and corporate affiliated attendees at the second Celebrate Madison on a clear, pleasant Thursday night at Toyota Field.

The event was presented by Meta and featured food, wine testing, games and a fireworks show at the end.

Two videos were played on the stadium’s large message board. The presentations highlighted Madison’s growth over the past 40 years, including things such as expanding the school system and adding quality of life assets within the community such as shops, restaurants and recreational sites.

Finley trumpeted road projects already completed – I-565, Zierdt Road, and Old Madison Pike. He added that more projects such as road widenings, roundabouts, a new community center, green spaces, sidewalks and adding to existing “recreational pieces’’ are on the drawing board.

“We’re not done,’’ he said, “and it’s a call to action for everyone out there to work hard and fill in the gaps to make Madison, Alabama, the strongest city it possibly can be.’’

This week, the city announced three restaurants are coming.

“That’s a great investment for our city,’’ Finley said, “and that’s just since Monday.’’

Another coming addition will be a hotel by Marriott, which will be built near the stadium. It will be the eighth local hotel and will increase the room total to 794, supplying lodging taxes that will help pay for future projects.

While Finley cheered Madison’s growth over the past 40 years, including pointing out how the town staved off annexation by Huntsville in the 1980s, he doffed his imaginary cap to big brother and current partner in leading the county’s and region’s impressive growth.

Huntsville, the largest city in Alabama, was named by U.S. News & World Report the No. 1 Best Place to Live for Families in the country. The publication named Huntsville as the Best Place to Live in the nation in 2022 and this year lists the Rocket City as No. 2.

“This is a great time to congratulate Huntsville, Alabama for the ranking of No. 1 as the best place for families in the United States,’’ Finley said.

An addition to the second Madison Celebration was the recognition of local military personnel. An Active Duty Family of the Year award was given to Col. Stacey Harring and her family. Harring has been a volunteer for children and veterans causes since moving to Madison six years ago.

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