Updates, Meeting & Event Highlights for the Week of February 27, 2023
Greetings friends and neighbors!
Thanks to neighbor Amanda N., for informing me of the community resource, Lasagna Love. Lasagna Love is a program that brings meals to community members in need. Visit https://lasagnalove.org/ to learn more about the program, get involved, volunteer and/or request a meal. What a blessing and act of service!
Included in this update is:
- News about the US 51 south corridor study
- An upcoming opportunity to engage with BT Farms project staff
- A call for community partners/navigators
- Tax benefits available to low and moderate income families & households
- Shared revenue increases in Gov. Evers' proposed budget
- Upcoming in-district prescribed (park) burns
- Meeting and event highlights for the week of February 27th
Here's to a week of warmer weather and (fingers crossed) no more snow!
WisDOT US 51/Stoughton Rd South Corridor Study
On February 16th I attended a kick off meeting with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's TAC (Technical Advisory Committee) and LOAC (Local Officials Advisory Committee) regarding the upcoming study for the US 51/Stoughton Rd South corridor. The purpose of this kick off meeting was to provide input on the existing issues along Stoughton Rad and ideas on how WisDot can improve the corridor.
What I learned (based on crash statistics 2017-2021)
1,236 vehicle crashes occurred in the study area
- 345 of these crashes resulted in injuries
- 4 of these crashes resulted in fatalities
- 83% of crashes occurred at intersections
- 54% were rear end crashes
- 5 pedestrian crashes occurred in the study area
- 3 crashes resulted in injuries
- 3 crashes resulted in fatalities
- 5 bicycle crashes occurred in the study area
- 5 resulted in injuries
- The section from US 12/18 to Buckeye has over 2x more crashes than statewide average for similar corridors
Based on preliminary studies, geometric deficiencies – such as insufficient acceleration on ramp entrances and insufficient deceleration length prior to exit – insufficient intersection spacing, and lacking bicycle and pedestrian accommodations are a contributing factor to these concerning data points. All of us travel this corridor and due to these experiences, many have reached out expressing concern about traffic, pedestrian and bicyclist safety. This study and input from residents, business owners, and commuters who utilize this corridor will be of vital importance.
Next steps: There will be opportunities for other entities, businesses and members of the public to provide input on corridor issues and improvements. I will make sure to share these updates as they become available but also encourage you to subscribe to get email updates and visit the webpage that's been established for this specific study.
BT Farms Agri-Community Plan
The BT Farms Foundation hosted a virtual info and Q&A session regarding their proposed Agri-Community plan which would be located off of E. Buckeye and Frankhauser Roads. A recording of the session is available here as well as BT Farm's website (www.btfarms.org). If you haven't heard about the proposal, here is an article recently featured in the Wisconsin State Journal. The project team is hosting an in-person Community Visioning Workshop that will take place on Saturday March 4th, 1-4pm at the Alliance Church (4200 E. Buckeye Rd). Registration for the event is still open and can also be accessed by visiting the BT Farms website.
Call for Community Partners/Navigators
Interested in helping neighborhood residents participate in the Northeast or West Area planning process? The City of Madison is funding 4-5 Community Partner/Navigator positions that will conduct outreach to current residents, property owners, business owners, and other stakeholders, with a particular emphasis on low and moderate income communities. Depending on which area you are most familiar with, you select an area plan and apply online or by regular mail! For questions email us at Neighborhoods@cityofmadison.com
- Northeast Area Plan Community Partner/Navigator guidelines and application
- West Area Plan Community Partner/Navigator guidelines and application
significant Tax Benefits available
The Federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) provides significant tax benefits for low and moderate-income working families and individuals. For tax year 2022 (taxes filed in 2023), the EITC has the potential to provide up to $6,935 in benefits, depending on a person's income, filing status and number of children in the household. The credit can be taken whether a person is single or married, and whether or not they have children. Moreover, a person may receive a benefit even if they didn't earn enough income to owe taxes. However, a person may claim this credit only if they have income earned from working, and only if they file a federal tax return.
Individuals and families in Madison that have questions about the EITC, or need help claiming it, are encouraged to take advantage of free assistance that is available. It is important to know that situations can change from one year to the next in ways that affect eligibility for the EITC. For example, a family might gain eligibility for the first time because somebody begins working, or changes their marital status, or has a child. A trained volunteer can determine very quickly if a person or family qualifies for the credit.
Three Madison Public Library sites offer free tax service this year by appointment:
- Lakeview (AARP) on the north side. Appointments are booked for the season, however, there's a chance more appointments will open up. Call (608) 246-4547
- Central (VITA) downtown. Appointments for March and April are open. Call (608) 266-6300
- Sequoya (AARP) on the west side. Appointments are available in March and early April. Call (608) 266-6385
Other sites offering free tax services are:
- Goodwill (VITA), various sites in South Central Wisconsin, Madison. Click here to make an appointment.
- Richard Dilley Tax Center (UW Extension) at 2300 South Park St. in Madison. Click here to make an appointment.
Click here for more information on library tax services.
Senator Agard Reports Shared Revenue Increases for 16th Senate District under Governor Evers' Budget Proposal
Senate Democratic Leader Melissa Agard (D-Madison) reacts to this proposal and shares its impacts on the 16th Senate District below:
"I recently had the opportunity to sit down with local leaders and hear about the issues impacting their communities. From town board chairs to city council presidents, mayors to county board supervisors, and superintendents to elected school board members, I heard the same resounding message - our local governments are starved of the resources necessary to provide essential services to their communities. For context, since 2011, Republicans cut shared revenue payments to local governments by nine percent, while costs grew and the needs of communities expanded.
Governor Evers 2023-25 proposed biennial budget includes sending 20 percent of the state's sales tax revenue back to local communities for shared revenue. The proposal means more than half a billion dollars more per year in new resources for local communities to invest in key priorities--the largest increase in aid to municipalities and counties in decades."
If the Governor's proposal becomes law, municipalities in the 16th Senate District can expect to see the following estimated increases in their shared revenue distributions:
City of Fitchburg - $2,222,887
City of Madison - $21,880,120
City of Monona - $592,883
City of Sun Prairie - $2,458,512
Village of Cottage Grove - $370,832
Village of Maple Bluff - $156,608
Village of McFarland - $716,627
Town of Blooming Grove - $41,334
Town of Cottage Grove - $155,267
Town of Dunkirk - $42,763
Town of Pleasant Springs - $58,715
Town of Sun Prairie - $56,073
Estimated distributions by municipality are also available here.
Madison Parks Prescribed Burns
This year, contractors on behalf of the City of Madison Engineering Division will be conducting prescribed burns on areas of existing native vegetation. Prescribed burns are an important management tool for Wisconsin's native plant communities. Prescribed burns are the intentional use of fire, under specific environmental conditions, to manage and suppress invasive vegetation, and promote native vegetation.
Prescribed burns that will occur in your area include:
Broad Creek Blvd Greenway
The prescribed burn Project Manager will mail postcards to residents in the coming days to remind them to anticipate a prescribed burn in their neighborhood. As in the past, the Dane County Emergency Management automated phone call system will be used to notify relevant neighbors on mornings when we will be burning.
These burns will be conducted by certified professionals with a permit from the Madison Fire Department. The burns will only take place under specific weather conditions in order to manage smoke and minimize impacts to neighbors. In addition, burn professionals will install appropriate road signage on the day of the burn.
A list of project contacts and more information is available on the parks website.
Meeting & Event Highlights for the Week of February 27, 2023
Common Council: The Common Council will meet in hybrid format on Tuesday, February 28, 2023. Agenda items include commending William Schaefer, Transportation Planning Manager for the Greater Madison MPO, on his retirement after nearly 25 years of dedicated public planning service and amending supplemental regulations within Section 28.151 MGO and definitions within Section 28.211 of the Madison General Ordinances to update definitions of "Family".
- Public Input Meeting: Fraust | Harvey Schmidt | Heifetz Parks, 03/02/2023 Virtual - Zoom: The City of Madison Parks Division is continuing the process to create a master plan for each of the former Town of Madison parks: Fraust, Harvey Schmidt and Heifetz parks. A master plan provides a big-picture overview of each of the park parcels and includes community input. Neighbors are invited to attend a virtual Zoom meeting as we gather your input on the existing and desired uses and amenities at each park.
- Winter Family Night on Lake Mendota, 03/01/2023: Bring your family down to Outdoor UW for a fun filled evening of skating (or snowshoeing if lake ice conditions make skating impossible)! This event will be filled with all the laughter, music, and games that your family needs to enjoy the Wisconsin Winter at Memorial Union. Our staff will teach you everything you need to know to get outside this winter. Beginners are welcome!
- Bird & Nature Adventures | Tenney Park 03/04/2023 Tenney Beach: Nature-expert guided walks in Tenney Park along Lake Mendota and the Yahara River Parkway bike path through the Madison Isthmus are free, family-friendly and held the first Saturday of each month, from 2:30-4pm. The walk begins at the Tenney Beach parking lot, 1330 Sherman Avenue.
- Bird & Nature Adventures | Cherokee Marsh, North 03/05/2023 Cherokee Marsh - North Unit: Cherokee Marsh is Madison's largest conservation park with three units - North, South, and Mendota. Each month, year-round we explore the north unit's beautiful trails through the woodlands, wetlands, and restored prairies along the Yahara 'Catfish' River.
- 9th Annual Latino Art Fair, Friday, March 3, 5:30pm - 7:30pm: Celebrate the rich roots of Latino art in culture at the 9th Annual Latino Art Fair! Talented artists from throughout South Central Wisconsin will exhibit and sell their artwork, including paintings, photography, pottery, jewelry, music and more.
Save the Date
- FREE HUD-APPROVED HOMEBUYER EDUCATION CLASS (IN PERSON) – SATURDAY MARCH 18TH: The City of Madison, in partnership with the Home Buyers Round Table of Dane County and Consumer Credit Counseling Service, want to share with you our next HUD Approved Homebuyer Education class of 2023 for the month of March! 2023 class schedule is up and you can find it here: https://homebuyersroundtable.org/events/list/?tribe-bar-search=education (there is a class every month this year, both virtual and online)!
- Madison Arts Commission Annual Arts Grants Opportunity 2023-24: The City of Madison is pleased to announce that applications are now open for art grants that provide support for projects that enrich the cultural landscape of the City.
- Snowplow Names Election Results: The Streets and Engineering Division are happy to announce the winners of the snowplow equipment naming election.
- Wisconsin Book Festival Kicks Off 2023 Season Under New Leadership: The Wisconsin Book Festival begins its spring season on Sunday, February 19, under the leadership of newly named Director Jane Rotonda.
- City Partners with Centro Hispano on New South Madison Facility with Land Swap Deal and Early Investment: The City of Madison is proud to celebrate with partner Centro Hispano as the nonprofit breaks ground on its brand new building this Wednesday, February 22 at 3 pm.
- Early Start to Trash & Recycling Collection on February 22, 2023 Due to Winter Storm: The Streets Division will be starting collection of trash and recycling early on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 due to the winter storm.
- Mayor's Purchase Award granted for a portrait of activist, leader, & public servant Dick Wagner : City of Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes Conway selected a portrait of Dick Wagner by Rae Senarighi, aka Transpainter, for the 2022 Mayor's Purchase Award.
- Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Project Begins: (MADISON, Wis.)--The reconstruction of Atwood Avenue from S. Fair Oaks Avenue to Cottage Grove Road is officially underway.