Council Vice President
Alder Syed Abbas,
Council Vice President
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Alder Abbas’ Blog
PFAS - Wheel Tax - TFOGS - F-35 Community Event - Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan Public Open House
Please see below updates on the Wheel Tax, PFAS, Task Force on Governance Structure (TFOGS) and other important upcoming events.
Vehicle Wheel Tax
Mayor Rhodes-Conway proposed a $40 per vehicle wheel tax. If approved, the Vehicle Registration total would be $153 to register or renew your vehicle annually. This cost includes: $28 (Dane County wheel tax), $85 (the state wheel tax) and $40 (the city wheel tax, if approved by the common council) starting in February or March of 2020. In Wisconsin, 12 counties and 24 cities, towns and villages have wheel taxes. Of the current municipalities who have adopted the registration fee, Madison would have the highest registration fee in the state at $40 if adopted. Currently, Milwaukee and Milton have the highest wheel tax at $30.
Last Thursday, the Finance Committee delayed their vote on the vehicle registration tax to give committee members the opportunity to review the full operating budget before making a decision. The Finance Committee will meet again on Oct 21 and will take a vote on the proposed wheel tax and then it will go to the Common Council for final approval.
The wheel tax is regressive and will disproportionately impact low-income neighbors, particularly the northside. I would also like to make residents aware of the fact that Madison provides a subsidy to Metro Transit every year. The $40 vehicle registration fee will generate $7.8 million which will replace a portion of the subsidy the City of Madison provides to Metro.
Statement from the Office of Mayor Rhodes-Conway Regarding PFAS Testing Results from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in Starkweather Creek
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released results of surface water testing for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) that they conducted along Starkweather Creek and four other locations statewide. The City wants to inform the public that the following steps are being taken to address this ongoing issue.
- The City of Madison has repeatedly requested that the Air National Guard conduct a complete site investigation into the extent and magnitude of soil and groundwater PFAS contamination on the Truax base. The City will again repeat this request--that the site investigation be completed and that a remedial action plan be implemented as soon as possible.
- The results of this initial round of PFAS testing in Starkweather Creek do not impact the safety of Madison's drinking water. Madison's wells draw water from a deep sandstone aquifer below the city, not from surface water. Madison Water Utility hopes to receive results from PFAS testing of the city's seasonal wells (wells used primarily in the summer and fall) this week, including Well 8, which is located near the creek.
- Fish tissue samples from the Starkweather Creek outlet to Lake Monona are currently being tested for PFAS with results expected in the spring of 2020. Residents and visitors to Madison should continue to follow the fish consumption advisory from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in place for PCBs and mercury. The advisory recommends limiting fish consumption for children under 15 and women who are breastfeeding, pregnant, or may become pregnant. The City is also increasing signage related to PFAS contamination and fish advisories around Starkweather Creek.
- Residents can take action to protect themselves from PFAS and other contaminants while using Madison's waterways:
- Follow the Dane County fish consumption advisories.
- Avoid drinking or accidentally swallowing the water.
- Wash your hands after wading or playing in the water.
- Do not let your pet drink the creek water and rinse pets after contact with the water to avoid them licking PFAS that may be on their fur.
- As the City continues to monitor surface and drinking water for PFAS, it is important to note that thousands of PFAS chemicals are in production across the world and people are exposed to these chemicals in a number of ways. To reduce PFAS exposure:
- Check product labels for ingredients that include the words "fluoro" or "perfluoro."
- Be aware of packaging for foods that contain grease-repellent coatings. Examples include microwave popcorn bags and fast food wrappers and boxes.
- Avoid stain-resistance treatments. Choose furniture and carpets that aren't marketed as "stain- resistant," and don't apply finishing treatments to these or other items. Choose alternatives to clothing that has been treated for water or stain resistance, such as outerwear and sportswear, luggage, and camping and sporting equipment.
- Avoid or reduce use of non-stick cookware and stop using products if non-stick coatings show signs of deterioration.
- The City will continue to work with all parties to protect public health, and requests that the Wisconsin DNR conduct additional testing to identify PFAS sources.
Task Force on Governance Structure (TFOGS)
On October 2nd, TFOGS voted on several recommendations related to the Common Council. However, some TFOGS members who were absent requested the TFOGS committee to reconsider these decisions. Some of the more significant recommendations were:
- Reduction of the number of alders from 20 persons to 10 persons, who would be elected by districts, serve full-time, and receive a salary.
- Increase terms of alders from two to four years, to be elected at the same time as the mayoral election.
- Increase the terms of the Council President and Vice-President from one year to two years. The TFOGS is scheduling additional meetings to complete its report before the December 1st deadline.
For more information on TFOGS please check https://madison.legistar.com/DepartmentDetail.aspx?ID=34775&GUID=F885A924-1F08-46CA-905B-08614C6E0818
Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan Public Open House - Oct 16th
Find out more about the Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan this Wednesday, October 16th, at 6pm at Warner Park Community Recreation Center or join remotely as we will livestream the event on the City of Madison's Planning Division Facebook page. The City of Madison staff and consultants will share draft development concepts of the Oscar Mayer site and surrounding areas. Help inform the future by providing your thoughts, feedback and asking questions either in person or online!
Oscar Mayer Special Area Plan Public Open House
Wednesday October 16 at 6:00 pm
Warner Park Community Recreation Center, Community Room
1625 Northport Dr.
The livestream will be on the City of Madison Planning Division's Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to watch the stream, but you will to comment on the stream (staff will monitor the comments and may read questions at the meeting as part of the larger group Q&A after the presentation). If you "Like" the Planning Division's Facebook page, you will receive a notification when the meeting goes live.
For questions or more information contact: Dan McAuliffe at 608-261-9676 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Meeting on the F-35 Proposal
Co-Hosted by: State Rep. Chris Taylor and Madison Common Council Alder Marsha Rummel.
Please feel free to attend and share your concerns about the proposal to base new F-35 fighter jets at the Truax Air National Guard base at the Dane County Regional Airport. Fact sheets and information about this proposal will be available, as well as comment cards for people to send their comments to the Air Force.
Thursday, October 17th, 6:30-8 PM
Goodman Community Center, Brassworks Building,
Large Community Room, 214 Waubesa St, Madison
I hope you all had a great weekend. Please feel free to reachout to me if you have more questions for me.
Alder Syed Abbas
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