Alder Patrick W. Heck
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Alder Heck’s Updates
Updates & Week of Nov. 18 Meetings of Interest for District 2
District 2 Updates and Meetings of Interest
East Johnson Street Full Opening Delayed
City Engineering and the contractor working on the East Johnson Reconstruction project indicate that their work should finish by Nov. 23. Completion was originally expected at the end of this past week, but given the early arrival of winter, it is no surprise there is a small delay. Even though the diverted car traffic and associated rude driving has been very tough on surrounding neighborhood streets, I've had many folks offer kudos on the dedication of the construction crews and city staff working on the project. If you see workers before all traffic lanes reopen and the much-improved pedestrian and bike facilities are done, say thanks!
Steering Committee Meeting to Evaluate 126 Langdon Street Proposal
Neighbors are invited to a steering committee meeting Monday, Dec. 2, from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at Kennedy Manor, 1 Langdon St. The committee will be discussing Core Spaces' proposed development for 126 Langdon St, formerly occupied by a vacant 7-story building.
At this first meeting of the steering committee, the developers will not be present. This will be an opportunity for neighbors and others to speak freely without concern for biasing or offending the development team. Your input in the steering committee process will help improve the quality and character of the proposal.
Two more meetings are scheduled with the developers on Dec. 16 and sometime in early January, although there could be additional meetings. Let me know if you'd like to be meeting announcement emails.
The developer's informal presentation to the Urban Design Commission can be found here. Note that the proposal details are preliminary and subject to change. The city staff report to UDC is here and a Madison.com article on the proposal is here. Core Spaces is currently planning on another informational presentation to UDC on Dec. 11, with formal consideration by city committees in February.
Update on Salvation Army Redevelopment Proposal
The Salvation Army redevelopment proposal's demolition permit and conditional uses were granted by Plan Commission at their Nov. 11 meeting. The discussion at Plan Commission was lengthy and many neighbors gave important input. Commissioners, including me, voted unanimously to approve the proposal because we felt it met the standards of approval that by law must be the basis of all Plan Commission decisions.
It was a difficult decision because the negative impacts of the Salvation Army's presence, as well as the impacts of the nearby Beacon and other social service operations, were tough to weigh against the important services that they provide to some of the neediest folks in Madison. That said, I believe the new shelter and "campus" design that includes the affordable housing apartment building along E. Mifflin can help to decrease the negative impacts on the neighborhood, particularly if the Salvation Army, the City, and neighbors join together to problem-solve.
At my suggestion and with the good input of the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association Council, Plan Commission added a Condition of Approval that requires the Salvation Army to organize and host quarterly meetings with all city and neighborhood stakeholders to take input, discuss issues, and work on solutions. While TLNA and the Salvation Army did hold analogous meetings in the past (with mixed results), I plan to fully engage with this process and assure that meetings are regular, fair, inclusive, and focused on problem-solving. I also want to make sure that MPD and other city and county entities are involved. Encouraging District 2 folks to volunteer at the Salvation Army in whatever capacity they can will also be a focus so that all stakeholders, including Salvation Army guests, can work towards mutual understanding and pragmatic, direct solutions with open communication channels.
I am assuming that the $500k requested from the City's affordable housing fund for the proposal is approved (consideration by Finance Committee expected on 11/25 and Common Council on 12/3); that WHEDA tax credits will be obtained (early spring decision expected); that the Salvation Army will have a successful capital campaign, and that other pieces of this complicated package will come together, so I also will be organizing a meeting in the near future when stakeholders can come together well before the demolition and redevelopment commence. I will announce that meeting date soon, but my overall goal is to start building better relationships asap, as well as working together with the Salvation Army and City on lingering design and operations/safety concerns. The proposal has its land use approvals from the City, but there are many aspects of the final development agreement where neighbor input can still provide crucial improvements.
I look forward to ongoing and permanent community engagement with all stakeholders.
New Lights on Reynolds Park Tennis and Bike Polo Courts Moving Forward
The Parks Department is moving forward with the lighting project on the top of the water reservoir in Reynolds Park, although they have reduced the scope of the lighting to address concerns expressed by nearby neighbors. The option to install 50' tall light poles with brighter athletic-style lighting was not chosen.
Parks plans to install security-style lights on 25' tall poles and reduce the number of poles from the proposed 10 to only 4, concentrated so that they provide lighting for the bike polo court. The tennis courts will likely not see expanded access in the evenings because the 4 new lights are not bright enough for tennis and will not be placed near the tennis courts. The fixtures will be state-of-the-art, there will be effectively no light spillage beyond the nearby park sidewalks, and they will meet dark sky specifications.
The project will include installation of lighting on the exterior staircase of the building, which should significantly increase safety in that portion of Reynolds Park. Parks tells me that the court lights will be off unless users either reserve a court online for a specific period of time or there will be a device for manually turning the lights on for a specific period of time (which method is TBD). Regardless, the lights will be off by 10pm and on only when courts are in use.
For more information on the project, check this site. Note that the project still needs to be approved by city committees and Common Council and that the construction schedule is TBD. The first committee consideration will be at Wednesday's Board of Public Works meeting (see city meetings of interest listed below). If you would like to provide input on the project, I recommend attending committee meetings and/or emailing me.
Early Notice of 2020 Gorham Street Reconstruction Project
During the 2020 construction season, City Engineering is tentatively planning to replace main sanitary sewer lines, sewer laterals to each property, and pavement, as well as curbs, gutters, driveway skirts, and sidewalks as needed, on East Gorham Street between N. Franklin Street and N. Livingston Street. The timing and further details are to-be-determined, but Engineering wanted to let neighbors know that this project is likely coming and that neighbors should not be concerned if they see surveying work in the area.
Note that this will not be a full street reconstruction project and will involve only sewer replacement. The street asphalt will be patched. Also note that there will be assessments, aka partial cost-sharing, to property owners for the sewer laterals and concrete work, but the details and amounts are TBD. The City pays 100% of the main sewer line replacement and Gorham patching costs. City Engineering and I will keep you posted on scheduling and possible assessments once the project is confirmed for 2020 and more details are available.
Nov. 19 Tenney-Lapham Transportation and Safety Meeting
The TLNA Transportation and Safety Committee is inviting neighbors to attend two meetings to document concerns with and solutions for traffic safety in our neighborhood. The first meeting will be held Nov. 19 at 7:00 pm in the Lyric meeting room (top floor, 1010 E Wash). The meeting agenda will be:
- Define the purpose of the committee: Improve multi-modal safety in the neighborhood
- Solicit traffic safety concerns
- Solicit solutions for improving safety.
- Goal: brainstorm and establish list of traffic issues and optional solutions
There will be second meeting Dec. 9 at 7:00 pm in the Festival Foods community room. At that meeting we will review the list of traffic issues and solutions and prioritize them as a neighborhood. The results will be reported to the TLNA Council meeting on Dec. 12 and a request for support from the council will be made at that time. In January, TLNA will take the Traffic Calming Plan to City Traffic Engineering to start the work of implementing the items on the list.
Note that Traffic Engineering already has a long list of traffic and traffic calming requests that I have relayed to them from District 2 neighbors. I am trying to funnel most of those requests through TLNA because I find it difficult and inefficient for me to take a piecemeal approach to the dozens of requests I receive on these subjects. The TLNA meetings described above constitute a public process to help determine which requests are most feasible and which are most desirable given the city's budget situation and limited staff time. Drop me an email if you have a solution that TLNA should consider; I'll forward it on to them.
If you live in District 2, but outside of Tenney-Lapham, I'd be glad to help your area undertake a similar exercise - contact me!
A Rendition of "Coffee with a Cop", CNI brings "Cookies with a Cop"!
Join downtown area neighbors and Police Officer Kraig Kalka for a conversation about safety in Madison's downtown neighborhoods. Bring your questions, concerns, and thoughts.
The event will be held on Nov. 19th at Ovation 309 (309 W. Johnson Street). Doors open at 5:00pm. Discussion will begin at 5:30 on the 13th floor. Topics that will be addressed through a facilitated discussion include:
- An update on crime in downtown Madison
- Personal safety for residents
- When to call 911? When to report a crime?
- Steps to take to keep your neighborhood safe
- Resident Q&A
Water Utility Poll Results Available
The first round of the EVERY DROP MADISON poll has closed. Thank you to everyone who participated. Your input is helping guide Madison Water Utility as it plans for the next phase of water conservation and sustainability in Madison.
You can find results and key takeaways here. They will be posting follow-up poll questions soon.
Join MPD for a Special Home Safety Night!
Would you like to make your home and neighborhood less tempting to thieves? Then join the Madison Police Department for a special Home Safety Night at American Family DreamBank, 821 E. Washington Ave., on Tuesday, November 19th!
Invite your neighbors and join us! You can get more details on this free event and register here.
Dec. 2 Informational Meeting on Liquor License Application at Grace Coffee East
Please join me and the owners of Grace Coffee East, for a meeting where we will hear about their application for a Class B Beer & Liquor license. The proposed liquor license will be at their soon-to-open coffee shop at 1216 E. Washington Avenue (formerly Stone Creek Coffee) that is proposed to close each night no later than 9:00 p.m. At the informational meeting you will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback, see their facilities, and learn about their business.
- Monday, December 2, 2019
- 5:00-7:00 p.m.
- 1216 E. Washington Avenue
If you are unable to attend, please email me with your thoughts and input or consider attending the Dec. 18 Alcohol Licensing Review Committee meeting when they will consider the application.
Historic Preservation Plan Public Meeting on Nov. 20
The City is hosting a Historic Preservation Plan Open House on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 6:00-7:30pm at the historic Garver Feed Mill, 3241 Garver Green, Suite 160. A draft of the City's Historic Preservation Plan will be presented and discussed. Please join us to help shape the future of historic preservation in Madison!
The Historic Preservation Plan's goals include identifying, celebrating and preserving the places that represent our collective histories. The Plan includes important and compelling histories of underrepresented communities, such as African American, First Nations, Hmong, Latino, Women, and LGBTQ communities that have previously not been sufficiently recognized in the City's historic preservation efforts.
In addition, the ordinance standards for Madison's five local historic districts are being updated. The descriptions and materials related to both of these efforts can be found here.
Annual City Budget Process Concludes
Common Council concluded the City's annual budgeting process at meetings this past week. Council adopted amended versions of both the Capital and Operating budgets. The adopted budget results in an increase in tax levy and a 25.1% decrease in borrowing as compared to 2019. The tax levy does not include the $40 vehicle registration fee that was previously adopted by the council; it is a separate item. Note that the increase in property tax to the average home (valued at $300,000) will be $94.47.
During the budgeting process, many alders expressed a desire to start working on the 2021 budget much earlier in 2020 than we were able to do this year. As a result, I anticipate we will also be asking that the City provide more and better opportunities for residents to weigh in on their priorities.
Amendments proposed to increase Fire Department staffing to bring an ambulance to Fire Station 14 on the southeast side did not succeed. The amendments each proposed adding 10 additional full-time positions at an annual cost of $826,000 and making various cuts to other programs to fund the new positions including:
Eliminate Pinney Library Enhanced Staffing (Library)
Reduce Olbrich Staffing (Parks)
Eliminate funding for Warner Park Teen Specialist (Parks)
Eliminate the Childcare Mental Health Specialist (CDD)
Eliminate the increase from Community Building & Engagement (CDD)
Eliminate the Police Auditor Position (Mayor)
Eliminate Accountant (Finance)
Eliminate Accountant (Fire)
Eliminate BRT Positions (Metro)
Eliminate funding for snow and ice control on arterial shared use paths (Parks/Engineering)
While the addition of a 9th ambulance would improve response times, particularly for southeast and eastside residents, the $826k is a significant increase in a very tight budget and I did not support any of the proposals that would have reduced or eliminated the other important investments. There is a strong case to be made for having an ambulance at Station 14 and I look forward to working on a long-term plan that can make that a reality.
Two amendments were proposed to add additional authorized strength to our Police Department (6 and 3 additional officers respectively). Concerns about the perception of increasing crime and interest in improving staff morale were cited as the two primary reasons to consider the additional staffing. The amendment to add 6 officers failed while the amendment to add 3 officers passed.
Alder Furman provided some good context about funding and support for our Police Department within the city budget in his comments at the meeting (watch City Channel replay) and in even more detail in his blog post from last week. In short, the executive operating budget put forth by the mayor increased funding for the Madison Police department by 7.6% compared to last year. At the same time, our annual revenue goes up by only about 2% each year. In the context of strong opposition to the $40 vehicle registration fee and strict levy limits imposed by the state, it is unsustainable to have the operating costs of our largest department consistently outpace our available funding.
Because of this fiscal reality and because the arguments in favor of increasing staffing were primarily intended to address a perception/fear of crime rather than to actually reduce crime, I did not vote in favor of either amendment. I am open to increasing staffing in the future but need additional information on staffing levels and retention issues across city departments before continuing to add additional police officers.
All other operating amendments were passed with the exception of #4 which would have removed funding for the Independent Police Monitor. The creation of this position was the primary recommendation of the MPD Policy & Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee that worked for nearly 4 years to develop their recommendations. The Common Council voted to accept this recommendation at our 8/6/19 meeting and rejection of this amendment reaffirmed that earlier decision. You can read the final report with detailed information on the Independent Monitor and Civilian Oversight Board as well as the other 176 recommendations here.
The Council took up 14 capital budget amendments. Along with a new ambulance and additional squad car, two other notable amendments were approved: #5 - Addition of $500K to our Affordable Housing fund and #11 - $350K towards implementation of Vision Zero/Traffic Safety.
The former is an amendment that Alder Evers and I put forward that will not only add funding for additional affordable housing, but also clarifies that funding should also be considered for projects that are not using WHEDA tax credits. The fund has primarily focused on leveraging WHEDA tax credits for large developments, but the program now has more flexibility to consider funding for other projects, e.g., cooperative housing, land trusts, tiny house developments, projects put forth by smaller non-profits, and other more community-based housing providers.
The latter was an amendment that Alder Foster put forward. It will allow us to implement safety enhancements to some of our most dangerous intersections and corridors in 2020 and marks the beginning of critically important public safety work that will continue as we implement Vision Zero.
Note too that the funding for weekend and holiday snow plowing on arterial bike paths was retained.
City Meetings of Interest to District 2
Below are some pertinent agenda items from various city committees that are meeting this week.
The city meeting agenda items are open for testimony from the public should you be interested in weighing in. I also appreciate hearing from you on any items on which you have a particular interest or concern so please send me an email or give me a call.
Also, committees and commissions have an opportunity at the beginning of each agenda for Public Comment on items not on the agenda. If you have something you want to share with a committee or commission, you can use the Public Comment time to do so
Continued discussion of steps of what an electric lawn tool incentive program would look like.
- Standards for Alterations
- Standards for Additions
DISCUSSION WITH THE MAYOR
- 2020 Budget Follow-Up
RECESSED PUBLIC HEARINGS - BEGIN AT 6:45 PM
END OF PUBLIC HEARINGS
BUSINESS PRESENTED BY THE MAYOR
REPORT OF BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS
REPORT OF BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS
REPORT OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
11/11/19 FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO ADOPT - REPORT OF OFFICER
11/11/19 PLAN COMMISSION RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO ADOPT -REPORT OF OFFICER
INTRODUCTION OF NEW BUSINESS FOR REFERRAL WITHOUT DEBATE
11/12/19 Attorney's Office Group/Approval Referred for Introduction
Alcohol License Review Committee (11/20/19); Public Safety Review Committee (11/20/19); Downtown Coordinating Committee (11/21/19); Plan Commission (12/9/19); Common Council (1/7/20)
RESOLUTIONS APPROVING THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC WORKS PROJECTS
This project will be adding security lighting to the roof of the water utility building adjacent to Reynolds Park.
NEW BUSINESS/ACTION ITEMS
Matterhorn Ventures Group LLC • dba Roast Public House • 558 State St New Agent: Brano Kruger
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer
Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck)
Matterhorn Ventures Group LLC • Current dba: Roast Public House 558 State St
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer
Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck)
New dba: Luchador Tequila & Taco Bar
Avenue Restaurant LLC • dba Avenue Club & Bubble Up Bar 1128 E Washington Ave
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer
Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck)
Adding 2 new officers and removing 1 officer
Matterhorn Ventures Group LLC • dba Roast Public House 558 State St
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer
Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck)
Add two new officers, remove three officers
558 State St • Agent: Brano Kruger
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 50% alcohol, 50% food Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck) • Police Sector 403
Recessed Public Hearing
BK Madison Investments LLC • dba Luchador Tequila & Taco Bar 558 State St • Agent: Brano Kruger • Estimated Capacity: 150 Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 50% alcohol, 50% food Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck) • Police Sector 403
Grace Coffee East• dba Grace Coffee
1216 East Washington • Agent: Nicole Bloomer
Estimated Capacity (In/Out): 30-50/10-20
Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 20% alcohol, 80% food Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Heck) • Police Sector 407
Handling of capacity numbers for alcohol licensees.
Discuss City staffing resources related to issuance, monitoring, and enforcement activities associated with Alcohol Licenses.
Policy for high density areas anywhere in the city (not just in the current overlay district).
Discussion and potential adoption of recommendations to the Common Council arising from the results of the Density Study and related aspects of Alcohol licensing and monitoring.
Email to a friend