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District 19

Alder Keith Furman

Image of Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Alder Keith Furman,
Council President

Contact Information

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

District 19 Blog

2021 Budget, Salt Route Changes, Madison City Channel on Roku

November 19, 2020 9:10 AM

City Passes 2021 Budget with Lowest Levy Increase in Five Years

Last week the Madison Common Council approved the 2021 Capital and Operating Budgets. The Council adopted a $166.4 million Capital Budget and a $349.5 million Operating Budget that was about $28,000 below the allowable levy increase.

"This was a very difficult budget for the City of Madison. We started with a $16 million deficit due to the pandemic, but ultimately we were able to move forward in a way that still supports critical investments in housing, homelessness, youth jobs and more. We also made progress on reimagining public safety with important new investments in a Violence Prevention Unit and an alternative crisis response team for behavioral health emergencies," said Mayor Rhodes-Conway.

Achieving a balanced budget required a combination of service changes and reductions, employee furloughs, use of the City's "rainy day" fund, and fee increases. "We are facing significant economic challenges," said the Mayor, "and we employed a number of strategies and sacrifices to ensure we can continue to deliver core services to all Madison residents. I want to thank the Common Council for their efforts to strengthen the COVID relief fund, increase affordable housing and support street outreach for the homeless."

"Taxpayers will be pleased to know that we accomplished all this while holding the property tax increase to the lowest level in over five years. The levy increase for City government will be 2.37 percent, the lowest since 2015. The 15-year average has been 4.3 percent," said the Mayor.
Madison's 2021 budget:

  • Launches a COVID flexible fund that will help us deal with emerging issues including the eviction crisis. The City will work with community partners to allocate this $725,000 to support families in our community.
  • Increases our investment in affordable housing by stepping up investment in developer -supported affordable housing to over $6.0 million annually, compared to just $4.5 million annually two years ago. We are also working to support low and moderate income families to purchase and improve their homes through our Consumer Lending programs, and are inviting proposals for innovative ways to support affordable housing. All told, these programs will invest $51.9 million in affordable housing over the next 6 years.
  • Provides $3.0 million for a new, permanent men's homeless shelter with matching funds from the County.
  • Creates a new Violence Prevention Unit in Public Health Madison & Dane County and doubles our investment in a public health and community-based approach to violence prevention in partnership with the County.
  • Invests in the young people in our community with $890,000 in youth programming and jobs for youth.
  • Creates an alternative crisis response team that pairs a community paramedic with a specially trained crisis worker to respond to behavioral health emergencies.
  • Fully funds the Civilian Oversight Board and Office of the Independent Police Monitor which will soon begin its work focusing on continuous improvement in policing policies and procedures.
  • Provides $21.7 million over the next 6 years to complete flood mitigation projects that will make Madison resilient against flooding, along with adding $9.9 million for energy improvement projects getting us to our 100% Renewal Madison goals.


Salt Route Changes for District 19

I'm passing along a notification I received from the Streets Division about a change in salt and plow routes in District 19. I was not involved in this decision, but I'm happy to discuss with anyone interested in talking about these changes in more details:

The salt routes that loop through District 19 have been shortened.

This means fewer streets in District 19 will be salted and plowed each time it snows.

These adjustments are not budget-related. We made this change after careful evaluation of the existing routes to find areas that no longer meet the standards of being a salt route. We also made temporary adjustments in response to pandemic-induced changes at the Madison School District and Madison Metro.  Salt route reductions due to MMSD virtual school and Metro routing changes will be restored when students return to in-person class, and when bus service returns to these roads.

The roads that are no longer designated as salt routes will be plowed like other residential streets. This means that instead of getting plowed and salted during every snow event, they will be plowed when three or more inches of snow have accumulated on the roadways. This is the standard we follow for all residential streets of Madison.

The changes to the salt routes are citywide. Virtually every aldermanic district is affected.

The temporary and permanent contractions of the salt routes will yield significant salt application savings this winter.  All of our changes combined result in a roughly 7% reduction of the mileage covered by salt routes. Using our salt application rate, we expect to keep nearly 15 tons of salt per snowstorm off our roads and out of our water. By winter's end, these changes will let us keep hundreds of tons of salt off the roads and out of our environment.

What Streets in District 19 Will No Longer be Salted

Permanent Removals

The below listed streets will be permanently removed from the salt route network. They will no longer receive salt, and they will not be plowed until three or more inches of snow has accumulated on these streets.

  • Harvest Hill Road from North Gammon Road to Pebble Beach Drive
  • Nautilus Drive from Mineral Point Road to Inner Drive/Island Drive
  • Baker Avenue from University Avenue to Lake Mendota Drive
    • The intersection of Baker and University will be sanded
  • ?Lake Mendota Drive from Baker Avenue to Capital Avenue
  • Lake Mendota Drive from Merrill Spring Road east to the city limits.

Temporary Removal Due to Metro Service Reductions

The below listed streets will be temporarily removed from the salt route network. They will return to the salt route level of service when Metro resumes using these roads for their routes. Until Metro traffic resumes, these streets will be treated like other residential roadways and only plowed when three or more inches of snow have accumulated on the roads.

  • Offshore Drive from Nautilus Drive to South Yellowstone Drive
  • South Yellowstone Drive from Offshore Drive to Inner Drive
  • Inner Drive from Yellowstone Drive to Colony Drive

Want to Know More?

If you would like to dig in a little more, on the City's winter website we have additional information about our strategy for plowing the roads as well as our full snow and ice procedures explained. 



Madison City Channel Now Available on Roku!

Watch Madison City Channel live coverage and on-demand content on your Roku streaming device.

Madison City Channel is now available on Roku streaming devices! Madison City Channel is the City of Madison's municipal television channel, a service provided by City of Madison Information Technology (IT). Madison City Channel covers essential City board, commission, and committee meetings, as well as events like panel discussions and community listening sessions. Madison City Channel also presents public affairs programming, featuring City officials, community leaders, and candidates in local elections.

The Roku channel will appear in full high-definition (HD) for live coverage and on-demand content. Madison City Channel will also be available on Apple TV in the very near future. "Over-the-Top (OTT) media services like Roku and Apple TV offer some real advantages over traditional cable television delivery," said City of Madison Digital Media Supervisor, Boyce Johnson. "Where traditional cable companies carry our channel at standard definition or even lower quality, OTT services offer it at full HD. They also offer on-demand content, so viewers can watch what they want when they want to watch it." Madison City Channel will continue to be available on Charter Digital 994 and AT&T U-verse 99.

In addition to watching Madison City Channel in higher quality, residents will have a new way to engage with local government. Streaming services such as a Roku and Apple TV provide residents with another avenue of access, increasing the transparency of the municipal decision-making process. "We're excited to take advantage of new ways to make the City of Madison more accessible to Madison residents and better engage with the community. It's especially important given how the COVID-19 pandemic has restricted in-person meetings, placing greater emphasis on the use of technology to keep people involved and informed," said City of Madison IT Director, Sarah Edgerton.

Roku and Apple TV are also great options for those without cable television packages. "You don't need to worry about whether or not any particular tier or package includes the channel. Anyone with internet service and a compatible device can install Madison City Channel at no additional cost," said Boyce Johnson.

City of Madison Information Technology plans to continue expanding the distribution methods of Madison City Channel. "Our goal is to provide as many access options as possible to Madison residents so that they can engage with the City with ease," said Sarah Edgerton, "and to provide those access paths, we need to be where our audiences are."

These are the first new distribution methods employed by City of Madison Information Technology since the launch of podcasts and vodcasts of Madison City Channel and other City of Madison content a few years ago. "We anticipate being available for more OTT services in the future. Amazon Fire will be next after Roku and Apple TV," said Boyce Johnson. Madison City Channel began streaming programming online in October of 2000.

Add Madison City Channel to your Roku channel list now!

  • Open Roku.
  • Go to "Add Channel".
  • Search for "Madison City Channel".
  • Click "Add Channel" to add Madison City Channel to your Roku channel list.

Learn more about watching City of Madison coverage and content on the Madison City Channel webpage!


As always, if there is anything I can do to help, feel free to reach out:

-Keith F

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