Alder David Ahrens
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Ahrens’ Updates
September News from District 15
School Starts Today, Slow Down:
When I go door to door to talk to constituents, the number one issue of concern is speeding in residential neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the Police Department has much work to do on problems that are more immediate and serious than speeding and as a result the crime often goes unpunished until it results in a crash.
Speeding can be reduced through speed bumps and roundabouts- which some people don't like- but they have been proved to be effective. Stop signs may slow drivers who can drive many blocks without a stop.
Recently, residents of Lake Edge Blvd, (which is four long blocks without a stop) placed "Slow Down" on their terrace. Sad to say, but they were soon stolen. I gave them replacement signs and they were also stolen. Finally, to keep their signs they had to bring them in at night and "replant" them in the morning.
Their positive efforts and the destructive work of the local vandals were covered by a TV news crew. They haven't given up and as of this afternoon, the signs are still up.
If you would like "Slow Down" signs, you can get them at the Madison East Police District off Cottage Grove Rd and Thompson Dr. or send me an email.
Pinney Library on Track to Go:
The proposed city budget includes funding for the construction and relocation of Pinney Library on track for 2017. $10.8 million is allocated from city funds, however, we as a community, will have to raise a good share as well. Fund-raising for the library is getting underway this month.
On Saturday, Sept. 26th the library will close early (at 5:30) for the First Annual "Harvest Moon Festival" which will include local musicians, food from Willy St Coop, kids games and more. You can get tickets for the event at the circulation desk.
I'll definitely be there!
Roads Rebuilt and Royster:
The construction of the Royster Corners project will require major infrastructure investments of almost $4 million along Cottage Grove Rd. and in the project area. In addition, Cottage Grove Rd from Monona Dr. to Stoughton Rd. will be redesigned to have a median area, street parking in some of the area and a bike lane. Parts of Dempsey will be rebuilt as well. This is a multi-year project starting in 2016 and will continue through the next year..
Although billions of dollars of new housing has been built on the Isthmus in the last two years, very little- if any- is affordable for many working families and individuals. The proposed city budget has up to $6 million for 100-200 homes. While this is a start, the city must find methods of getting involved in the housing market because the market has failed to address the needs of many in our community. Renters should not have to pay 50% or more of their income for shelter.
Judge Doyle Square:
The Mayor continues to push an expensive and unneeded project for a private corporation. The proposal would give (not loan) the company $12 million to move 300 employees from University Research Park on the Westside to downtown. The city would also give the developer $13 million in free land and lend $21 million to build a private garage. The terms of the loan are better than anything you or I have ever enjoyed. These projects plus other items add up to about $46 million in grants and loans. There is nothing in the project that directly benefits the community. In fact, under the terms of the proposed agreement, the private garage, which would be built directly below the new E. Wilson St ramp, will likely cause serious financial harm to the Parking Utility which generations of us have invested in and depend on.
Since I took office there have been a number of ill-thought, expensive and unnecessary projects called Judge Doyle Square. This is, by far, the worst. We have so many other needs in this community, particularly in housing, supporting schools, reducing the tax levy, etc. that could be addressed instead of this misuse of city resources.
Milwaukee St Bridge Update:
The Milwaukee Street Bridge east of Fair Oaks Ave. is closed for reconstruction through the end of October 2015. The east side stream bank riprap work will be partially completed early this week. The bridge west abutment is poured and completed. The bridge east abutment will be formed and concrete poured this week.
The focus of Milwaukee Street work west of Fair Oaks will be on removing old roads and rebuilding underground utilities to the south side houses. This will allow the remainder of the underground utilities and storm sewers to be completed in the coming weeks. As you know, for the time being the Fair Oaks intersection is controlled with stop signs.
If you have any questions or concerns about city services and policies, feel free to contact me at email@example.com or at 334-1156.
Have a Safe September
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