The city of Madison voted Monday night for the first time to annex 72 acres of Limestone land off Powell and Greenbrier roads under an agreement called a “residential improvement district.”

Developer Joe Murphy agreed to pay $10,000 per lot to the city of Madison to help pay for roads and schools under the plan.

“This is the first time we’ve used the residential improvement district, but I hope all future annexations are handled this way,” said Madison Mayor Sandy Kirkindall.

Kirkindall said the plan is being used in Shelby and Baldwin counties, but he said he believes it’s the first time for north Alabama.

“Certainly all the communities in this area are having to deal with rapid growth,” said Kirkindall. “The question is, how do you make it pay for itself? Property taxes just don’t cover it. This way it lets us recover part of the cost up front. When people arrive, they immediately drive the roads and enroll their children in schools. Having money from the district helps us meet capital costs up front instead of years and years from now.”

Kirkindall said the new housing district could conceivably have 150 to 200 lots at $10,000 each.

“It will not be immediate but the payout will not have nearly the wait of property taxes,” he said.

Kirkindall said there are a number of Limestone landowners who are talking informally about annexing into Madison, but no one else has petitioned for annexation.

Also to come out of Madison’s council meeting was the announcement by Madison City Attorney Anne Marie Lacy that the Alabama Department of Transportation has committed $5 million to building an interchange at County Line Road and Interstate 565.

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