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Huntsville-Madison-Madison County Metro Government?

Huntsville-Madison-Madison County Metro Government   11 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you be for a consolidated Madison County metro government?

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6 posts in this topic

I haven't seen a discussion dedicated solely to this topic. Please explain why your are for or against.

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Here's a few reasons for why I am for Metro government:

* Huntsville's population would soar to around 300,000 overnight, making it the largest city in Alabama.... at least until Mobile creates its own Metro government (I really don't see Birmingham-Jefferson County doing it anytime soon)

* Acknowledgment that Huntsville really does exist. :)

* Expanded fire and police coverage-There are probably over a dozen volunteer fire departments in Madison County.

* Expanded sewer system. Unincorporated Madison County does not have sewer, which has slowed commercial development and contaminates the drinking water.

* The possibility of a transit system outside of Huntsville. TRAM really doesn't count as a transit system.

* More money for roads outside of Huntsville/Madison. With over 100,000 people living out here now, former farm roads (like Jeff and Winchester) are over capacity, but the County Commission doesn't have the money to widen them.

* Equal taxes/larger tax base to fund roads, schools, etc.

* NO DEANNEXATION!

* Zoning laws in the unincorporated areas.

Disadvantages:

* Huntsville and Madison might have to give up their land in Limestone, making them lose out on the high-growth areas like East Limestone and Greenbrier.

* Inner-city schools in Huntsville might lose more students and funding to other schools in the county.

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Not a resident, but I support a metro government for Huntsville and Madison County. In addition to what jmanhsv mentioned, I think a merger would save money by avoiding duplication of services, and aid development and redevelopment by providing one set of permitting standards and rules to follow.

FYI - there's a thread about the pros and cons of consolidated city and county governments over in the Urban Discussion board here at UP.

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Disregarding political sandboxes ... what are the logical reasons for not having a metro government in Madison County, and possibly even combining Madison, Limestone, and Morgan Counties into a single, efficiently functioning entity?

Think of the advantages, both bureacratical and economical, that such a move could mean:

1. Police: At the moment there are police departments in Huntsville, Madison, Gurley, and Triana. And then there's the Sheriff. Why not combine them all into a Metropolitan Police Department? There's really no need for a sheriff and several police departments.

2. Schools: Many Madison city residents wouldn't like it, but combine 'em. One central office should work wonders. And get rid of busing and go back to neighborhood schools.

3. Utilities: Already combined across Madison County for the most part, and works well. Extend it to Morgan and Limestone, across the "true" metro area.

Why not? Individual city and county governments could remain if needed to preserve identity.

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I support metro government (look around this forum, I made a post about it in a similar topic a couple of months ago) and I would vote "yes" for it if it ever came up on a ballot here. But there are a few reasons why this area won't have a metro government anytime soon:

1) Madison and Huntsville would have to deannex their increasingly important annexations in Limestone County. Though the taxes of unincorporated Madison County would cover that loss many times over, I don't think Huntsville or Madison wants to give up Greenbrier and East Limestone.

2) TAXES. There is no way unincorporated Madison County will want their sales and property taxes to increase to Huntsville and Madison levels, shown by defeated referendums for school funding. Even if that includes increased fire and police coverage, better roads, and the promise of a countywide sewer system.

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I don't think it'd ever happen for Madison County, though, I think it's a great idea.

You look at all of these fast growing areas in the South, and a lot of them are combined governments. Cause, let's face it, there are a lot of cities that could use the money that is currently not being used in the counties. Putting all of this money into one pot would do wonders for the area.

Edit:

But, something that would be very interesting to see. Combine Huntsville and Decatur. Maybe even Madison too. The cities already border eachother

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