Sunday, December 04, 2005

Madison, My Madison

Despite the low wages Mississippians earn, there are perks in our state that many others don't have. One is lower property taxes for senior citizens. Those over 65 pay approximately one-half of the taxes levied. We have medical clinics, good public schools, a growing library. Our town is a designated retirement site. It also is an architecturally planned "city" and the efforts of our female mayor is paying off as the city progresses. We don't have a main street leading into downtown that is lined with fast food structures or used auto dealerships. Located a few miles north of the capital city, Madison is THE place for families. No apartment buildings strewn in the once cotton fields, no low-cost housing , no abominable condos reaching to the clouds, and right now a low-to-nothing crime rate .

Madison is developing into a lovely area, if you like progress that brings in traffic, an overload of businesses in form of upscale restaurants, movie theaters, dozens of fast food eateries (conveniently place in proper locations), strip malls--all designed with architectural guidelines set many years ago. We were the first city to force Wal Mart to conform to the guidelines (took them over 4 years to agree to build to the city's standards). The exit off I55 into Madison is the only one in the state that is beautifully laid in brick instead of just concrete walls(and you can believe many folks griped to the newspapers about the Highway Department affording this move). New homes are sprouting on either side of I55 and State Highway 51.

I'm proud of the progress of this place, which 40 years ago when we moved here was a tiny spot on the state map. It's the hurly-burly of this place (or any place that has progressed in size) that makes me enjoy Sullivan County, NY in the summer months.

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