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Alder David Ahrens

Alder David Ahrens

Home Address:
4117 Major Ave.
Madison , WI 53716

Phone: 608-334-1156
district15@cityofmadison.com
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

Feb. 2016 Blog

January 31, 2016 2:29 PM

Book Sale at Pinney... This is the big book sale of the year. This year it will also includes a bake sale, so you can contribute to the construction of the new library in two ways: by eating cake and reading a book. Sounds good to me!

The book sale is: Thursday, Feb 11. 3PM-6 PM (First hour for members of Friends of Pinney)

                              Friday, Feb. 12. 10 AM- 6 PM

                              Saturday, Feb. 13. 9 AM- 4:30 PM

                              Sunday, Feb. 14.  1 – 4 PM (buy them by the bag. Cheap)

Active Neighbors:  Despite the winter gloom, many neighborhoods are getting together for planning spring and summer activities and also having fun at social events. One organization east of Sycamore Park is in its early stages and have worked on slowing down traffic on Jana Lane, improving lighting in Sycamore Park and generally improving communications with local residents and the city. If you're interested in helping with improving this neighborhood contact Caryl at carhod1977@yahoo.com.

Last week, Lake Edge Neighborhood Association held its annual pizza party at the VFW on Cottage Grove Rd. My guess is that about 75-100 people attended despite the Patriots-Broncos game being played at the same time. It also held a community-police discussion with two officers from MPD on a spate of vandalism as well as a general discussion of police procedures. There was interest expressed in establishing a Neighborhood Watch program. If you're in this neighborhood and are interested in participating in the Association contact Angela at acjenks@live.com

Turner Ave Reconstruction...Last year, the city (with the approval of a majority of Council) decided to construct sidewalks on Turner Ave during the course of a street reconstruction project. The sidewalk project was strongly opposed by residents with over 30 people, most elderly, speaking against the project at the Council meeting that last until midnight. The sidewalks were constructed last summer.

Last week, the residents of the remainder of Turner Ave attended a Public Information meeting on the three blocks of Turner south of Buckeye as well as residents of Allis Ave. Although most people were not happy about the sidewalks due to the cost and change in look, residents recognized that the sidewalks were going to happen and that resistance was more or less futile. This is not a victory for the city.

Building Downtown Parking Ramps: The city staff is pushing for the construction of a 650-space (five-story) parking garage at South Livingston St. and East Main. The cost of the project is estimated at $14 million and will be financed with TIF loans. The garage will be owned by the city Parking Utility.

So what's the problem? The garage is slated to be used by tenants of one developer, Gephardt, who has built many of the new apartment buildings and an office complex on East Wash. The city has built a parking garage for a primary occupant before. The Lake St. ramp is largely for UW employees, the Overture is for Overture guests, etc.

The problem here is that all of the aforementioned garages and users pay similar rates. The rates under discussion are well below what the Parking Utility charges other users. So much so, that I question whether we the Parking Utility will lose money on the deal and that the difference will have to be made up by other users. There are many other questions about this project that should be answered before we commit to building it: MGE currently owns the land. Will it continue to own it? How was the number of spaces determined? In 5-10 years there may be much less demand for parking due to technology, changes in housing patterns, etc. . Is there an alternative use for the structure?

Snow: So far this winter, we've been pretty lucky in avoiding major snowstorms. That may change on Tuesday- or it may not. These "snow events" cost the city a lot of money in overtime and in payments to contractors who do much of the work. They are also frustrating to many of us who expect that everything should quickly return to "normal" despite a heavy snow.

Judging from the number of complaints I've received this winter I would say that the Streets Dept. has done a good job given the resources that are available to them. Their goal was to have every residential street plowed at least once in the first 24 hours following the end of the snow. That goal was met. Hopefully, we'll be able to make it through the next two months of winter without snow-enduced cabin fever or spending millions on snow removal.

If you have any comments or concerns in regard to city projects or policies, feel free to contact me at 334-1156 or a district15@cityofmadison.com.

Best,

David





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