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District 5

Alder Regina Vidaver

Image of Alder Regina Vidaver

Alder Regina Vidaver

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 Vidaver’s Updates

Teacher appreciation May 1, Meetings, Property Assessments, Medians, Events & Announcements

April 30, 2022 11:09 PM

Hello neighbors,

Chalking in appreciation of Franklin & Randall teachers will be happening at each school Sunday, May 1 from 2-4pm. Come out and show your creative side for the start of Teacher Appreciation Week to let our teachers know how much you appreciate them and connect with other families and caregivers from the Franklin-Randall community.

Reminders about this week's meetings of interest:

  • University Avenue Reconstruction
    • Public Information Session: 4-6 p.m., May 3, IN PERSON at the Best Western Plus Inntowner, Bascom Meeting Room, 2424 University Ave.
  • Glenway Golf Park

Additional upcoming meetings of interest:

  • Metro is holding a final public meeting on its network redesign on Thursday, May 19, at 6pm. The meeting will be held IN PERSON in Room 215 of the Madison Municipal Building (215 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.), and it will also be streamed live.
  • A public hearing on Metro's network redesign will be presented at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board the Transportation Commission Thursday, May 31, at 6 pm.
  • The Planning Division is working to implement a "Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) overlay zoning" along planned BRT and other high-frequency transit corridors to "create development intensity minimums, reduce parking requirements, and support transit use." For more information, and to sign up for May 11 and May 16 public meetings on this effort, please visit the project web page.
  • Madison Gas and Electric Company (MGE) will be contracting for line clearance tree pruning in our neighborhood during 2022 and 2023. In order to prune City of Madison-owned trees within the public right-of-way of any street, alley, highway, or greenway, MGE is required to apply for a permit. MGE's 2022 plan for pruning trees on the public rights-of-ways will be considered by the Habitat Stewardship Subcommittee at 4:30 on May 17, 2022, via virtual meeting.
    • Residents in areas subject to pruning will receive notice before any pruning begins. Additional information can be found on the MGE website. Residents with questions may call the MGE Forestry line 608-252-7186 or email forestry@mge.com. An arborist will respond to all inquiries.

Property Assessments:

  • The 2022 property assessments are now available on the City website. Assessment notices were mailed yesterday to all property owners.
  • The Wisconsin State Journal ran an extensive article explaining the assessments today.
  • The new Council President, Keith Furman, provided a comprehensive blog post on this topic.
  • Importantly, if you would like to appeal your assessment, please contact openbook@cityofmadison.com or call: 608-266-4531 by May 13. The "open book" period is May 2-6, when staff are available to review your property characteristics (e.g. square feet of living area or number of bathrooms) with an appraiser. If there is an error in the assessment records, adjustments and corrections can be made during this period.
  • Multiple resources are available if you're having trouble paying your taxes.

Much ado about medians:

When the Wisconsin State Journal ran an article about paving over medians, we heard from a lot of people. Unfortunately, the article only covered part of the story. Here's some additional information:

Q: Why not plant the medians being converted to concrete with a native plant/ low mow alternative?

A: The medians being converted to concrete are less than 6' wide; maintaining any type vegetation in narrow medians is exceedingly difficult (and hazardous) for Parks staff to mow. Even the low mow mixes that Engineering has been using in various locations require mowing. Prescribed burns are not an option in medians due to traffic safety (smoke and driver visibility).

Additionally, retrofitting to this style of low mow vegetation has not been universally successful. We have had better success when new medians are originally planted with these native plants.

Q: Why not plant the medians being converted to turf with a native plant/ low mow alternative?

A: The planted medians we are converting to turf are generally in medians that have a large turf presence already so it wouldn't make sense to convert just patches of the medians to low mow when the majority of the median is already turf.

Q: Why not have volunteers adopt the medians set to be converted to turf or concrete through Engineering's Adopt-a-Median program?

A: None of the median planting beds being converted to turf or concrete are available for adoption. They are all in high traffic locations that are not allowed for volunteer work due to safety concerns. Most of the medians in question require closing a lane during off peak hours to allow maintenance. There are many other medians in other residential areas in the city that are in need of volunteers. Please visit City Engineering's Adopt–A-Median website for more information.

Q: Won't additional hardscape/ impervious surface increase runoff?

A: The changes that are being made are distributed across the City. A change in any one area is very small on a watershed basis. Changes from mounded planting beds to turf grass is relatively minor from a runoff standpoint. While concrete runs off more than mounded planting beds, taken on a whole, the changes are very minor.

Q: These median conversions are supposed to save money in the budget, but doesn't it cost more to remove the existing planting beds and replace with turf or concrete?

A: There are capital costs to making a change of this type. Those costs are a one-time cost. The City's operating budget cannot keep up with ongoing maintenance costs for these plantings. Engineering prefers green solutions, however budget cuts, increasing maintenance costs, and difficulty in finding available Contractors to complete this work are directing this change.

Events

  • Register now to attend the Silver Lining Awards on May 12, 2022. Madison Arts Commission (MAC), in partnership with Garver Events and presented by Friends of Madison Arts Commission (FoMAC), will honor individuals and organizations who shifted their practices to persevere through the pandemic.
  • Make Music Madison is a free, citywide, outdoor day of music held annually on the summer solstice. Initiated in Madison in 2013, our festival is part of the larger Make Music Day, an international summer solstice music celebration occurring in 1,000+ cities across the globe. Registration to perform or host a performance opens this month.

Announcements

  • The City is currently collecting public input on potential changes to the University Avenue & Blackhawk Avenue intersection as a Safe Streets Madison project. Please provide your thoughts on the planned improvements!
  • Madison Parks and the Friends of Goodman Waves are partnering again to offer recreational team swimming and diving through the Goodman Waves Swim and Dive Team this summer at the Goodman Pool, 325 W. Olin Avenue. Scholarships are available.
  • Streets Division Updates
    • Spring yard waste collection is now over. Do not place yard waste at the curb for pick-up. Curbside yard waste pickup will resume in the fall.
    • You can take yard waste and other items to one of the Streets Division drop-off sites. Check the website for the hours and locations of the sites.
    • Brush collection is ongoing. Learn when you should set out brush at your home for pickup here.
    • If you have questions about the Resource Recovery Special Charge, there is an FAQ page on the Streets Division website explaining it.

Be well,

Regina Vidaver




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