City of

District 15

Alder David Ahrens

Alder David Ahrens

Alder David Ahrens

Contact Information

Home Address:

4117 Major Ave.
Madison , WI 53716

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 Ahrens’ Updates

Property assessments, emerald ash borer, new construction

May 2, 2014 6:41 PM

City Property Assessments Released:
The 2014 neighborhood city property assessments were released last week. For the first time in a number of years most of the city saw an increase in property values.
An increase in property value is good news for some but not for others. Those who see their home as a key investment like to see it increase in value for some time in the future when they would sell it. Others who are planning on keeping their home for the long term will see an increase in taxes as a result of the increase in value.
The average changes in home property values in District 15 were as follows:
Eastmorland: 2%
Lake Edge: No Change
Olbrich Gardens/Cottage Grove Rd: 3%
East Wash/Stoughton Rd/Commercial Ave: 4%
Heritage Hts: No change
Glendale: 3%
This indicates that the housing market has recovered to some degree and that values are increasing. Commercial property increased at a slightly higher level than home property which means that they will be carrying a larger share of the tax burden.

Royster Project Gets Funded:  A key part of the Royster Corners project received support from the federal agency WHEDA , that will result in a 70-unit apartment house to be constructed. The apartments will provide housing for people with disabilities and very limited income as well other homes at affordable rents. Without this federal assistance Movin' Out, the local agency that assists people with disabilities, could not have "put the package together" to finance this project.
The building will be built by Stonehouse, a local developer that has built many outstanding multi-unit buildings including the building behind the Target at Hilldale. Stonehouse has a national reputation for building very high quality attractive homes. It will be an excellent addition to the neighborhood and a great start for Royster Corners.

Rethke Ave Apt. House:  The City also received notice that it will receive $7 million from WHEDA to build a 65-unit apartment house just off E. Washington at Rethke Ave. This apartment house will be slated for permanent housing for people who have been long-term homeless as a result of chronic mentally illness. Many of the neighbors of the project have serious concerns that the project will cause further deterioration to their community.
While it is good news that some of the city's many homeless will finally get a home there are serious reservations about the location of the site. It is located just off E. Washington and is blocks from a location where people can the residents can cross the street to take the bus downtown. It is also far from a food store or any amenity. There is a great concern that this will leave the residents "stranded" in their building or walking around the neighborhood with nothing to do.

This project could be a plus for the community if the developer, Heartland Housing, is ready to engage the community and work with it. We intend to work with the City Housing department, the developer and the operator of the house, Heartland Health that will address the concerns of the community and develop a working management plan.

Ash Borer Updates: As you know the Emerald Ash Borer is here and has survived the Winter Vortex. Many of us have trees with yellow dots painted on them and have heard varying accounts of how they might be saved.
This week the Common Council approved $300,000 in additional funds for the Forestry Division to treat more trees and increased funds for tree replacement.

To answer many of your questions I am attaching the web site with three of Forestry's FAQs on tree treatment, removal and replacement. This will be an on-going process that may take years for it to reach a conclusion.




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