The Jefferson County Council approved giving $25,000 to Madison Bicentennial, upholding a commitment the council made four years ago to give a donation.

Jan Vetrhus, who organized Madison's Bicentennial celebration, said the money would likely be used for sculptures of famous Jefferson County residents. The council approved $12,500 to be given to Madison Bicentennial this year and the same amount to be distributed next year.

Vetrhus said that Madison Bicentennial planned to use the money as a legacy gift and did not intend to use the money until after the Bicentennial activities.

Vetrhus approached the council in 2008 and said she received a pledge from council members that a donation would be made. However, several council members said a request was made, but there was no record of the request in the meeting minutes from 2008. Several council members did not seem keen about giving Madison Bicentennial the money.

"When I look at this, I'm not sure the entire county wants $25,000 contributed to this type of thing," council member Larry Wynn said.

Vetrhus said history and art have made Madison and Jefferson County an important place and they would be beneficial for educational purposes.

"If you did not have the Broadway Fountain, Madison would not be the place it is today," she said, giving an example.

Council members also expressed concern about paying for the sculptures. Vetrhus said grants and private donations would be used to fund the remaining portions of the project and she would not ask for council donations again.

In other business, the council heard from Commissioner Mark Cash about an additional $500,000 to pave county roads.

"We're just falling farther and farther behind in our road maintenance," Cash said.

Cash said there are 166 miles of county roads that are deemed below 50 percent condition according to a report he gave the council. The $500,000 would only cover a small portion of those roads and the county would also chip and seal wherever possible to stretch the money the farthest.

The money for additional road repairs would come from the County Economic Development Income Tax fund. The bids will be advertised next month and the council will officially vote on the measure next month as well.

The council also approved the formation of a county redevelopment board, similar to the TIF Board in the city.

The TIF Board will have five members, with three appointed by the county commissioners and two by the County Council.