City of

District 15

Alder Grant A. Foster

Alder Grant A. Foster

Alder Grant A. Foster

Contact Information

Home Address:

3930 Anchor Drive
Madison , WI 53714

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Alder Foster’s Updates

Budget Report

November 14, 2017 9:52 PM

Budget Report

In a 19-1 vote, the Common Council passed a budget that is funded by a 5.2% increase in the levy with spending at about that rate.

I was the sole "no" vote on a budget that:

  • Spends $315 million in operations
  • Spends $333 million for capital investments
  • Borrows $158 million for the building programs.

For a home valued at $250,000, it will increase the property tax by about $90 for a city tax of $2330. Given increases in the school levy, county, etc. the total tax for this home would be $7375.

I voted against the budget because the increase in spending is about three times the rate of inflation. This is not fair for taxpayers and is it is not sustainable. This is the third year in which increases in spending were much greater than (increases in) inflation. City employees' pay increased by 1%; however, we have more employees and many are in the higher pay brackets.

Second, is the $7 million expenditure for the proposed Public Market on First St. and E. Washington Ave. When Mayor Soglin first proposed the market in 2014, the total cost was about $6 million, with the city paying $2 million or one-third. The 2017 budget was up to $13 million, with the city paying $4.25 million- also one third. However, in 2018, the Mayor proposed that the city pay $7 million or 58% of the cost.

The budget for the market assumes that private donations will provide about $3 million and the Federal government will contribute $3 million. I don't think that either assumption will be realized.

It's likely that the federal government will play a reduced role in assisting local services. We will lose federal aid for housing, law enforcement and helping people who need mental or physical health services. The city cannot substitute for all of the loses in federal aid. We may be able to fill in here and there but our role is limited by levy limits and taxpayers' ability to pay.

I asked my colleagues on the Council if they viewed the construction of the public market as the number one priority for the city. Although I think few would say that it is, most voted for the project.

As noted, one of the bright spots was the addition of $400,000 to hopefully match a federal grant for seven additional police officers in 2018 and eight in 2019. This should ease the burden of the officers who have worked long hours over the past year, often in difficult circumstances.

Local Items of Interest:

We held onto the funding for Pinney Library for the third (or is it the fourth?) year.  Architects and engineers have been working with community groups and sharing ideas about what should go where in the new 20,000 SF building.

The city will split the cost of a new education/horticulture/welcoming center for Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The Gardens Friends organization has raised about $4.5 million which the city will match.

The long-awaited rebuilding of Buckeye Rd. will get underway when the school year ends in 2018. It will improve the pedestrian crossings in the Allis School area and add sidewalks on the south side of the street. Unfortunately, it will not improve the confusing and dangerous intersection on Hwy 51.

Reminder: Alternate side of the street parking begins TONIGHT!

Positively Eastside,


Email to a friend Email to a friend

Subscribe to Email List

Subscribe to the Alder Foster, District 15 email list:

By participating on this list the Wisconsin Public Records Laws may subject your email address to disclosure to third parties. By selecting "Yes" you are requesting that we treat your email address that you have provided to this list as confidential and you are also stating that you would not participate in this service if the City is obligated to release your email address to such third party requesters.

Recent Entries




District Updates


2018 Budget  2019 budget  911 call center  animal control  annexation  ash trees  assessment  beer  biergarten  Biodigester  Buckeye  Budget  Budget  Burke Heights Neighborhood Association  capital budget  capital east garage  capitol bike path  capitol bike path  capitol bike path  capitol bike path  chip-sealing  Christmas Trees  City Council  confederate graves  Cottage Grove Rd  coyotes  dogs  Downtown  ECA  EMCC  emerald ash borer  Flood  Flood  food carts  Garver  Garver  Garver Feed Mill  Glendale Neighborhood Association  governance reform  homeless  hotel  housing assistance  Hwy 51  Hwy 51  immigration  Judge Doyle Square  Koval  Lake Edge reconstruction  Lake Edge shelter  Mayor  Mayor  Mayor Soglin  midtown police station  Milwaukee St Bridge  Milwaukee St Bridge  Monona Golf Course  Monona Golf Course  monona terrace  Municipal Building  neighorhood plans  neighorhood plans  neighorhood plans  Olbrich  Olbrich Gardens  park shelter  park shelter  parking garage  Parking Ramps  parking utility  parks  petition  pinney  playground  Police  Police staffing  Preemption  public market  renewable energy  retail  Rethke  Robinson  royster  sidewalks  Snow Emergency  Starkweather Creek  stop signs  street construction  street construction  street construction  street vending  supported housing  supported housing  supported housing  The Beacon  thompson dr.  TID 32  traffic  transit  transportation  tree canopy  Turner Ave  Uber  visions  Walter St.  water utility  water utility  water utility  wheel tax  yard waste