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

Eastside Update

January 29, 2015 9:17 PM

Garver Feed Mill:
The Garver Feed Mill located behind Olbrich Botanical Gardens was built in 1905 as a sugar beet processing plant and transitioned to a feed mill in 1929. It has been abandoned for decades and only parts of the original buildings remain standing.
However, because what remains is of interest, there have been many attempts to keep most of the remaining structure while finding a means of re-using the building and surrounding property. Most recently, the City offered $1.825 million to a developer who would maintain much of the existing structure and use the remaining five acres of surrounding property. Also, the "wild" area, called the North Plat would be kept wild or with of minimal impact.
The Garver Mill Committee (of which I am a member) is in the process of reviewing four proposals for the site. They are as different from each other as one could imagine. They range from building a conference center that could hold 1,000 people, an assisted living village for 135 elders along with a 20-unit complex for people with dementia, an up-scale development of townhouses and single units and an artisanal food production center combined with 50 tiny eco-hotel rooms.
You can find all of the proposals at this city website.
There will be a public hearing where you can provide your views on the proposals. This issue may be of particular interest to residents of Eastmorland who will be neighbors of a new development. The meeting will be held on Feb.26, 5 PM, Madison Municipal Building, Room 300.
Following the (above) meeting, the Committee will make recommendations on one or more proposals to the City Council, which will decide what should be done with the property. These options include doing nothing and allowing the demolition of the structure. What do you think?

Bake Sale for Pinney, Feb. 12-14:
I like cake and I like books, so I'm looking forward to the upcoming Book and Bake sale at the Pinney Library. The Pinney Library Book sales are reputed to be among the best in the city and the funds go towards improving Pinney, book purchases, etc.
I'll be working (hopefully at the cake table)  on Friday from 3-5, so stop by.
•  Friends of Pinney MEMBERS Book and Bake Sale *join at the door* Thu, 02/12/2015 - 5:00pm - 8:30pm
•  Friends of Pinney Book and Bake Sale Fri, 02/13/2015 - 9:00am - 8:30pm
•  Friends of Pinney Book and Bake Sale Sat, 02/14/2015 - 9:00am - 4:30pm
•  Friends of Pinney $5 Bag Sale Sun, 02/15/2015 - 1:00pm - 4:30pm

Update on Royster Corners:
Although the hills of construction refuse remain at the Royster site (now covered in snow), much has changed below the surface of the site. Through the summer, construction of the underground infrastructure of water and sewer lines for most of the buildings was completed.
This spring (yes, it will be spring in two months) construction of the first homes will begin. The first site will be two three-story buildings with 35 homes in each.  One third of the homes are restricted to individuals or families of people with disabilities.
Next summer, construction will begin on the new Pinney Library, retail center and homes along Cottage Grove Rd and Dempsey. This will be a four-story building with the three top floors containing about 90 housing units. These units will restricted to tenants of at least 55 years of age. Over 2016 and 2017 additional single-family homes will be constructed closer to Royster and Sargent St as well as two three-story apartment buildings.

Public Information Meeting on Turner Ave:
Residents of Turner Ave between Allis and Pflaum will soon receive notice of a public information meeting on Feb.11th (6:30 PM) at Glendale Elementary on the City proposals to rebuild the street this summer. A number of proposals will be presented followed by a discussion of alternatives with City Engineers and residents.  Turner Ave. from Allis to Buckeye will be rebuilt in the summer, 2016.

No Health Insurance?
If you're uninsured and would like to discuss your situation with an expert on the Affordable Care Act, there is an opportunity to do so this Saturday.  If you are unable to attend this event but want more information call: Covering Kids & Families at 608-261-1455.
Licensed navigators, insurance agents and brokers, and HealthConnect representatives will assist people with opening Marketplace accounts, reviewing and enrolling in a health insurance plan, and learning about financial assistance to make the coverage affordable. Spanish speaker available!
Madison Super Saturday January 31
9 am to 6 pm
United Way Building
2059 Atwood Ave.

City- Subsidized Hotel
I am happy to report that good sense has prevailed and that the Board of Estimates adopted a substantially revised  plan for Judge Doyle Square that:  1.Will not offer a city subsidy for a hotel, offices or luxury housing and 2.  Proposes to sell the city property behind the Municipal Building and above the parking ramp for a fair market price. This compares very favorably with the original proposal that would have used about $50 million of city funds to build a luxury hotel and apartments.
This is a preliminary vote. The next vote will be in the City Council. I expect there will be considerable pressure from downtown development interests to support something like the original plan which would require a city subsidy. 

If you have any questions, concerns or comments that concern city issues please feel free to contact me at or at 334-1156.

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