The City of Madison stands ready to reopen local ball fields, courts and parks if Gov. Eric Holcomb shifts his five-stage Roadmap to Safely Reopen Indiana to the next level on Sunday.

The governor is expected to shift his Back on Track plan to Stage 3 Sunday and if that happens Madison’s little league practice fields will come alive and basketball courts and other facilities will be reopened before the Memorial Day Holiday on Monday.

“All of our facilities are prepping to reopen,” Madison Mayor Bob Courtney told members of City Council in a brief Zoom meeting on Tuesday. “There’s still some pretty stringent guidelines but we will have little league fields open for our first practices at Rucker Sports Complex on Sunday.”

In fact, all city parks and shelter houses will reopen with the exception of Crystal Beach pool, which is slated to open in mid-June. The state will also allow commercial gyms and fitness center to reopen as well as pools and campgrounds.

The City of Madison’s campground along the Ohio River has been turning away campers most of the spring before a partial reopening recently but the facility will be able completely reopen Sunday if Holcomb’s new order comes through.

Courtney also noted that Tuesday’s Zoom video conference meeting of City Council could be the group’s last of that type. Once the state shifts to Stage 3, crowd restrictions will be relaxed enough for the city to return to open meetings in person in council chambers.

In other business, Courtney gave a brief report on a number of projects that recently received final approval including the city’s interlocal agreement with Jefferson County, which was approved by both the county Commissioners and Council since the city’s previous meeting, and $208,000 in improvement grants recommended by the city’s PACE Review Board and approved by the Board of Public Works.

“The agreement has been fully executed and now we can start all the hard work of that agreement,” Courtney said of the interlocal agreement that will see the city share its portion of a new public safety income tax with the county to help fund a new county jail in exchange for the county developing a substance abuse treatment facility and supporting historic preservation and economic development projects with the city.

“We’re going to have some beautiful outcomes with that program,” the mayor said of the PACE grants.

In other business, Councilman Curtis Chatham reported that a new sports commission is being formed to help market Madison and Jefferson County as a sports destination by evaluating and organizing local assets to offer youth and adult tournaments, camps while bringing more sports tourism dollars into the community.

Courtney said now is a great time to pursue the project because he has named interim Madison Parks Director Seth Pennington to that job permanently and the department is in the process of evaluating both programs and facilities for improvement.

Councilman Dan Dattilo urged local residents to support the Fairplay Fire Company’s annual fish fry fundraiser from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Held in conjunction with the Old Court Days annually, the fish fry will be on its own this year since Court Days fell victim to the COVID-19 emergency. Due to the virus and crowd restrictions, the fish fry itself will be carry-out only and customers are urged to call ahead and place orders. Phone lines will open at 11 a.m. at 812-265-4949.