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

Corrections to Sept 2nd Newsletter

September 8, 2015 4:15 PM

Corrections to Sept 2nd Newsletter:


I made two errors in the newsletter distributed last week. One of which is quite a serious matter. I began the newsletter with the positive but erroneous headline, "Pinney Library on Track...." I went on to say that it is budgeted for design in 2016 and construction in 2017. That would mean it would not open until 2018.

The Mayor's proposed Capital Budget for 2016 in fact slows the construction of the library by one year. The design funds were to be expended in 2015, with construction in 2016 and the library opening in 2017.

This is a problem because:

 1. We need a new library.

2. The fund-raising for the library will begin this month (see second error below). We have begun that fund-raising effort and told prospective donors that the city will be contributing about $10 million to the effort over next year. It's difficult to tell them now, "Well, actually it may be 2017. And if it wouldn't be 2017, it may be 2018." And so on. This is not a message that evokes confidence in major donors.

3. It throws a wrench into the overall plans of the Royster Corners project. Much of the front-view of the intersection of Dempsey and Cottage Grove, that is, the "face" of the project would not be able to begin construction for an extra year. This disrupts the calendar for everything- the financing, other retail projects,etc..

4. The Mayor said that he would only fund Capital projects that were: a. in part federally- funded, b. ready to being construction, etc. This project is not in part federally funded but it is in part locally funded. The developer, Ruedebusch Construction, is donating more than $1 million in construction costs. Local contributions will likely add another $1 million (we hope).  This project certainly meets that first criterion.

What's next? The first hearing on the Capital Budget on the Library project will be on Wednesday, Sept.9th. We'll have representatives of the Library as well as Friends of Pinney Library speak in favor of putting the funds back into the 2016 budget. You may want to let the Mayor know your views.


The other error in the newsletter pertained to the normal hours of the Pinney Library. I wrote in regard to the Harvest Moon Festival to be held on Sept 26th at 5:30 PM that the library would close early. In fact, the library normally closes at 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday and as such, there will be no special closing of the library for this event.

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