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City of Madison Finance | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette
Date: September 16, 2003
To: President and Members, Madison Common Council Department and Division Heads
From: Mayor Dave Cieslewicz
Re: 2004 Capital Budget

I want to thank City managers for their role in helping me craft the 2004 Capital Budget. My first Capital Budget, which I am presenting to you today, was developed to reflect the growth, vibrancy and diversity of our community. It demonstrates my commitment to reinvest in neighborhoods, maintain the City's infrastructure and make key investments in the City for the long-term.

The Capital Budget comes in just under my adjusted target of $33 million in borrowing. (My original target of $31 million was adjusted upward to reflect borrowing carried forward from 2003.) I reached the target for the five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) as well. There were many worthwhile projects to consider, and I believe I struck a balance between limiting the City's borrowing and moving forward on several key initiatives.

As you know, the City's bond rating is dependent on many factors, including the care with which we manage our City's debt. I am pleased to report that my 2004 Capital Budget request keeps the ratio of general obligation debt to equalized property value at less than 1% for the third year running. The City is legally allowed to borrow up to 5% of equalized value. The City's ratio of debt service to total general fund expenditures in the coming years may increase, but that ratio is still projected to remain under the City's 12% target. It is this balance of borrowing and spending that helps maintain our Aaa rating. I am pleased to report that my Capital Budget continues our long-standing commitment to Madison's financial health.

Highlights of the 2004 Capital Budget include:
  • Five new parks: McClellan, High Crossing, Reston Heights, Kingswood, Flagstone
  • Purchase of a new street sweeper to help improve lake water quality
  • Construction of a northeast fire station
  • Start of State Street mall reconstruction
  • Start of East Washington Avenue reconstruction
  • Saving Breese Stevens Field, which is deteriorating
  • Investment of $2.5 million in the south side

Highlights of the 5-year CIP:
  • Commitment to a far east side extension to the Capitol City Trail in 2005
  • Expansion of the South Madison and Sequoia libraries in 2005
  • Planning for a swimming pool in 2006 and a second pool in 2008
  • Beginning land-acquisition for affordable housing in 2005
  • Building a new east district police station in 2005