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Alder Lauren Cnare

Alder Lauren Cnare

Home Address:
5218 Kevins Way
Madison , WI 53714

Phone: 608-235-9179
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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The Latest in Budget News

November 12, 2012 11:47 PM

The emails and proposals have stopped flying in for the night, so it's time for a budget update. Budget deliberations for the 2013 budget begin tomorrow night at 5:30 in the Common Council chambers, Room 201 in the City-County Building. They will certainly continue into Wednesday night, and possibly Thursday as we all try to reconcile the desire to keep taxes reasonable and serve the needs of our growing city in the environment of lower overall property values, increasing costs and reduced state aid.

What's in and what's out in D3

The New far-eastside Fire Station (No. 13) is in the budget along with a grant to recruit, hire and train staff. This will pass and the station will open in early 2014.

Heritage Heights Park ice skating rink. Now that we have everyone's cooperation on this, we just need Mother Nature to play along!

Cottage Grove Rd. reconstruction east of the interstate from North Star Dr. to McClean Dr. This may extend in to 2014, as the city wants to do the work right along with any construction for the Grandview Commons Town Center. A joint construction period will help reduce the hassle for residents by doing both projects at the same time.

Emerald Ash Borer Mitigation is a citywide effort to identify, treat and restore our urban forest. The older areas of D3, Heritage Heights, Rolling Meadows and Hiestand neighborhoods are full of ash trees and could be completely bare of street trees without this plan. I will send a separate blog about this issue soon.

New Senior Meal Site at Messiah Lutheran Church on Cottage Grove Rd.
The first in the area! Look for an update blog when this gets closer to starting. Our first "community service" in this district.

OUT (or missing . . . )
Sprecher Rd. Realignment – a perennial favorite in the outer years of the budget – is in the 2018 – column. Given the cost of roads, it's one of those projects that will continue to bounce around until sufficient development occurs to demand it and help pay for it.

Grandview Library plans have been pushed out to 2015 and 2016. The Library Board is facing several branches that need immediate improvement or have property opportunities right in front of them and need attention and dollars right now. They are also facing limited ability to meet every need. It will be important to ride herd on this, get in front of the library board and keep clear lines of communication open so that the board knows what residents want and residents know what the board plans.

Other Eastside Projects:
Royster Clark will continue to develop with streets and sidewalks on the property itself and improvements to Cottage Grove Rd., including bike and parking lanes.

Overall, whether the Mayor's executive budget with its recent amendments passes or the Common Council's slate passes, taxes on our homes will be held to an overall increase of between 3.52% and 3.58%. On the average home valued in Madison ($232,024) that's an increase of $49.77 to $50.94.

Top contentious issues that will be hotly discussed include the grant to Overture. I support, along with 12 of my colleagues, a grant $1.75 million (short of the $2 we agreed to two years ago) but much higher than the Mayor's woefully small sum; bus fare increases; and some new ideas for city services, including $6000 to support homeless services in a county-run facility, and some neighborhood strengthening strategies such as outreach workers, and mini-neighborhood centers.

If you'd like to review the budget, please visit the City's Budget Website, and review the amendments that will be presented, debated and passed or rejected over the next three days. (Council Operating Amendments; Council Capital Amendments; Comparion of Mayor and Council amendments)

While it's once again, a tough budget year, we have many reasonable and effective measures to preserve the important basic services, make little improvements to all areas of the city, and address the changes upon us without excessive borrowing or taxing. I think the 2013 budget will serve us all well for its short one-year life.

Please share your thoughts with an email to We will be considering all points of view for the next two – if not three - days!

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