Madison County chairman Mac McCutcheon delivered the county's annual State of the County Address on Tuesday, highlighting the "positive impact" the local government has had during his first 10 months in office.

Since being appointed to the chairmanship position by Gov. Kay Ivey last January, McCutcheon, who joked he hadn't even finished his probationary period yet, said his focus has been to understand the county's operations and needs better and increase its overall "quality of life."

"I see my role as commission chairman is not change and influence state and national politics," he said. "My role, instead, is to support our quality of life in working on things like infrastructure, our roads and our water systems, public safety, clean living environment, venues for shopping and entertainment, employment for opportunities, recreation for healthy living and family growth, residential developments, educational opportunities, overall economic development. You're quality of life — you're quality of life — is the number one focus of your county government."

McCutcheon commented on the county's continued growth, particularly Huntsville, which in 2021 became the largest city in the state, and how having more people brings more challenges. The chairman said an estimated 125,000 people live in the county's unincorporated areas, with over 400,000 countywide residents.

"I've witnessed all of these stages of growth, and, honestly, I'm amazed," he said.

McCutcheon said he's been working with the county commissioners in their districts to help adapt to the growing population, which includes increasing the staff and equipment of important county departments from law enforcement to waste management. To cover associated costs, he said the county has implemented "more realistic budgeting principles," including a 10-year infrastructure plan with $101 million for 29 road infrastructure projects and $50 million for various water projects.

"As our county grows, we must be more proactive in our response," he said. "... We will continue to set the standard high and look for ways to be more efficient."

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