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District 3

Alder Erik Paulson

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Alder Erik Paulson

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

Alder Paulson’s Updates

Week of Dec 19: Winter, salt, waiving the pay-by-echeck fee for water bills, and wrapping up til 2023

December 17, 2022 1:13 PM

No trash pickup Monday Dec 26th. This will probably be the last update for 2022, so this update is hopefully getting all of the big holiday schedule changes included. If this is my last update for the year, Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate, and may your last weeks of 2022 be happy ones and your 2023 even better! 

  • Christmas trash pickup - No pickup Monday Dec 26th
  • City winter website and free sand socations
  • New salt usage ordinances to prevent excessive salt usage on sidewalks and lots 
  • Water bill payment reminder - plus, pay-by-electronic-check fee is now eliminated!
  • Metro bus schedule changes for Christmas holidays
  • Bus Rapid Transit breaks ground!
  • 2023 Neighborhood Grant information available
  • City meetings, events, and other announcements

The shortest day of year is still a few days off, but sunsets are already getting a bit later in the afternoon. A week ago sunset was at 4:22:19pm, today it will be at 4:23:43 - only a minute and 24 seconds more sunlight in the afternoon, but positive progress!

Christmas Trash Pickup - No trash or recycling pickup on Monday Dec 26th

Monday, Dec 26th is a City holiday, so like other Monday holidays there will be no trash pickup on Monday and the collection sites will be closed. You can find your trash pickup calendar online

Keep up with snow and winter updates

The City's Winter website is an important resource this time of year. During snow events, that site will have regular updates on snow plowing, sidewalk clearing deadlines, and other information like adjustments to drop-off sites.

I am a big fan of the free sand the City provides, and since starting to use it a few years ago I use very little salt on my driveway and sidewalk. The City's sand website has a list of places where you can go and scoop up a bucket or two to have on-hand.

New ordinances on salt usage

Speaking of salt, earlier this year the Common Council updated the snow removal ordinance to limit excessive salt usage on sidewalks and other walkways. For nearly everyone, this won't change anything. The overwhelming majority of Madisonians use an appropriate amount of salt or other melting agents to help keep their sidewalks safe, but there are definintely some folks who need to make some changes in how much salt they put out. A good rule of thumb is if you can hear the salt crunch, you're using too much! 

A second part of the ordinance change is if you do use too much, you are now required to promptly clean it up. If you use so much salt that after the snow melts there are still salt piles on your sidewalk, you are using too much salt.

The ordinances were changed to cut down on the amount of salt that gets into our waterways and pollutes drinking water, as well as improving safety for pedestrians, especially folks with disabilities. (And while not explicitly part of the ordinance, I know dog owners should be happy with this change. My own dog passed away two weeks ago, but there were certainly places we didn't walk in the winter because the excessive salt caused him so much paw irritation he would limp for a while if we did walk there)

The City will obviously start with education and not immediately start issuing fines to violators, especially as the ordinance starts to go into effect. 

You can read more about the changes, including the text of the ordinance, in the City's news release, and you can report a snow removal issue (which includes excessive salt) at the City's report a problem page for snow and ice removal.

The new Payment Portal to pay your City services bill (water bill, etc) is now live! (And a change in a payment fees for e-checks)

Important: To protect your banking information, existing accounts will not be moved to the new system. If you use e-billing, set up auto-pay, or get high water use notifications, you'll need to create an account re-sign up for these features.

If you find it difficult to sign up, the City is offering a kiosk at the Water Utility (119 E Olin Ave) and a Customer Service Representative (CSR) will walk you through this process. You can also access a computer at any of the Madison Public Libraries and we have a set of step by step instructions available to guide you.

If you set up your auto pay using a checking or savings account, there are no service fees. If you use a credit or debit card, you will be charged $2.95 per payment. There is a $500 max limit for credit card payments. 

A recent change since the portal went live: Previously, there was a $1.95 fee to make a one-time online payment using a checking account. The Water Utility has been able to reach an agreement with the payment processor to waive that fee. The fee to use a credit or debit card to make a payment remains in place.

You are always welcome to pay by mail or drop your payment off in person at the Madison Water Utility or the City Treasurer's Office.

Finally, any late fees on Municipal Services bills with due dates of December 1 – December 31, 2022 will be waived.

Christmas Metro Bus Schedules

---- Dec. 24 and Dec. 25

  • Buses will follow Saturday schedules on December 24 and Sunday schedules on December 25. Service will end early on both days. The majority of last trips leave between 4:15 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. on both days.

  • Route 80 will follow the weekend recess schedules.

---- Dec. 26

  • On Monday, December 26 buses follow HOLIDAY schedules on the following routes:

  • 245678131617182021222630313236405051596367 and 68

  • Routes 55 & 75 operate regular weekday schedules to and from Verona/Epic.

  • Route 80 operates a shortened weekend recess schedule. Final scheduled trip departs Memorial Union at 9:15p.

Metro's customer service center will be open from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM on Dec. 24, 25, and 26. Full information here.

Ground Breaking on Bus Rapid Transit!

On Thursday, the City of Madison held the official groundbreaking for the East-West portion of the long-awaited bus rapid transit project. Mayor Satya was joined by Governor Tony Evers, Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson, other local Mayors, key institutional and community partners and staff from multiple City agencies for the celebration. You can see the press conference and read the Mayor's remarks by clicking through to Metro's news release.

2023 Neighborhood Grants now available

2023 Neighborhood Grant Program guidelines and application are now available on the City's webpage! Grant applications will be due February 20 by 4:30 p.m. What will you and your neighbors do? Start exploring ideas for physical improvements and leadership and capacity building initiatives.


City Meeting Highlights

Transportation Policy and Planning Board (TPPB): The Transportation Policy and Planning Board meets virtually on Monday, December 19 at 5:00 PM. Items on the agenda include adopting the Shady Wood Neighborhood Development Plan as a supplement to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan and a resolution that approves a Complete Green Streets Policy to incorporate Complete Green Streets principles of street design for all modes of transportation into public way improvements and project phases.

Sustainable Madison Commitee: The committee meets virtually on Monday, December 19th at 4:30pm, and the discussion will include an Update on Urban Tree Canopy Task Force Report, MadiSUN solar power program update, updates on the Sustainability Website, and information the recent Air Quality Monitoring Grant.

You can find the whole list of City meetings here.



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