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District 15

Alder Grant Foster

Image of Alder Grant Foster

Alder Grant Foster

Contact Information

Home Address:

3930 Anchor Dr

Council Office

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

Alder Foster’s Updates

COVID-19 Update, Well 15 PFAS Testing, Vote!! - D15 Update 10/2/20

November 2, 2020 10:18 AM

Last Week 

Cottage Grove Road Development Proposal - Joe Krupp and team presented the most current version of their redevelopment proposal at last week's LENA meeting. Much of the discussion focused on the 'live-work' units and whether they would ultimately be successful in maintaining a strong commercial presence in the corridor. At the end of the meeting, a small group of residents was formed to meet with the developer and staff in the hopes of identifying some additional refinements and improvements to the proposal before it is considered for ultimate approval at the 11/19 common council meeting.

Golf Course Update - At the same LENA meeting, neighbors asked about the future of the Monona golf course. The Report of the Task Force on Municipal Golf in Madison Parks was introduced at council on September 1 and referred to the Board of Parks Commissioners and the Finance Committee. The Board of Parks Commissioners recommended adoption of the report and its recommendations, but the Finance Committee asked Parks staff for more information on the financial impact of the recommendations and referred consideration of the report to a future meeting. Staff expect this to be back on the November 30th Finance Committee meeting. Once Finance takes action on the report, it will return to the Common Council for final action. You can find the task force report and recommendations here and I will continue to provide updates in advance of the Finance and Common Council meetings.

Amended Operating Budget Approved at Finance Committee - Finance Committee took up the Executive Operating Budget last week and made several changes prior to recommending it for final consideration by the Common Council. Alder Furman from District 19 has prepared and published a detailed summary about the city budget here and is worth a read for anyone interested in learning more. Alder Lemmer and I also sat down last week with the city's budget manager, Laura Larsen, to get some help navigating the 2021 budget process. You can watch that recorded conversation here or at the bottom of this post.

Karmenta Zoning Changes - Postcards went out last week to those living closest to the former Karmenta site (4502 Milwaukee Street) regarding a public hearing on two zoning updates that would allow for the potential use of the site as a "mission house" for families experiencing homelessness. A Mission House is defined in the City's Zoning Code as 'A facility operated by a religious institution or nonprofit organization that provides lodging. May also include the provision of meals, worship services, or other supportive services.' As this winter approaches, the City is facing increased need for high-quality shelter facilities, and the vacant Karmenta building offers a rare opportunity for the swift conversion of an existing facility into one that will provide safety, privacy, and transit access for families in need of such services. There will be a public hearing for these items at the November 9th Plan Commission and November 17th Common Council meetings. I am the sponsor of both of the zoning code changes needed to accommodate this use and have already heard from several nearby residents that are also in support. Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to share your feedback.

COVID-19 - I'm sure most of you have continued to hear about the high levels of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in our nation and in our state. While it's easy to become numb to these reports, I wanted to emphasize how dangerous the current situation is in Dane County. The 7-day average for new known cases has been over 250/day over the past week. We have never seen this rate of spread before locally and it has resulted in an alarming spike in COVID-related hospitalizations. From April through September, in spite of rises in the infection rate, we had not seen a dramatic increase in the number of COVID-related hospitalizations. But since the beginning of October, those numbers have continued to dramatically rise, reaching 131 this week. The number of patients with such severe infections that they require intensive care treatment has also risen dramatically from less than 15 to a high of 34 last week. As winter approaches and as we all start to spend more of our time indoors, the conditions for spreading COVID will only improve. While we desperately need federal intervention to help change the course of this pandemic, we also need to continue to do our part as individuals and families. Please buckle down and reaffirm the habits that will keep us all safe. Limit your exposure to only the most essential needs and consider postponing and cancelling any non-essential activities that will bring you indoors with others.

Other city updates:

This Week

Presidential Election on Tuesday - A record number of absentee ballots has already been collected over the last month as voters have taken advantage of absentee drop-off and early voting opportunities across the city. Voting is the most fundamental duty in a representative democracy and I urge every eligible voter to cast a ballot for the November 3rd election. I will be working the polls at Ward 15 and look forward to seeing some of you there. 

Atwood Cycletrack to be Packed up for Winter - I've received a lot of positive feedback on the temporary cycletrack that was installed this summer to give space for people walking and biking along Olbrich Park on Atwood. A permanent version of this design is already included in the reconstruction plans for this street. But that reconstruction project is not yet scheduled as it awaits federal funding, so the temporary measure has been a welcome interim improvement. City staff will be removing the barrels early this week as the current set up would be difficult to safely maintain during the winter. Staff is also working on acquiring new materials and plans to reinstall the cycletrack in the spring. I have also asked for them to consider a design that would allow it to stay in place year-round until reconstruction finally occurs. Staff has also been in discussions with the City of Monona on the prospects of extending this route along Atwood and Monona to Winnequah. This would be a significant improvement for this stretch of the popular Lake Loop and would dramatically improve conditions for those walking and biking. 

Madison Water Utility to Begin Testing PFAS Treatment at Well 15 - Crews will begin the process of collecting bulk water for testing from Well 15 next week to determine the effectiveness of treatment for removal of both PFAS and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and the estimated cost to add treatment at Well 15. The results of this testing should be available by next April. You can find the details about this work here.

Additional City Meetings - There are a number of city meetings not highlighted in this update. You can find a full schedule of city meetings here.

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