City of

District 6

Alder Brian Benford

Image of Alder Brian Benford

Alder Brian Benford

Contact Information

Home Address:

2273 E. Washington Ave #1
Madison , WI 53704

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 Benford’s Updates

D6 Items of Interest Week of September 25, 2017

September 24, 2017 9:17 PM

Highlights: Monday at Finance Committee, members will make amendments to the 2018 Executive Capital budget. I am proposing a pilot to partially underground high voltage wires on the section of Jenifer St that was reconstructed in 2016. This is a new project. In addition, I am proposing to restore the Schenk's Corners reconstruction to 2020 after the Mayor removed it completely from the 5 year Capital Improvement Plan. Finally, I am co-sponsoring another new initiative with Alder Verveer to follow up on the consultant's recommendations for the Nolen-Blair corridor and start planning for Law Park improvements. If you want to provide comments, please email them to Laura Larsen by 3:30p or register to speak in room 201 CCB. Please attend the Historic Preservation Plan kickoff Wednesday at the Goodman Community Center. District 6 is home to three of the city's five local historic districts. Also Wednesday is the Sustainable Madison Committee kickoff to discuss what a 100% renewable Madison looks like. A public information meeting for the Darbo-Webb Street addition will be held on Thursday at the Salvation Army.

Monday September 25, 2017

Finance Committee

4:30p room 201 CCB


9. 48934 Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a development agreement to fund a $2,500,000 Tax Incremental Finance Loan to assist in the renovation and development of office, laboratory, and warehouse space for Exact Sciences Corporation in the Project Plan and Boundary Amendment area of TID #46 (Research Park).

The item is noticed to go into closed session

Exact Sciences proposes to build a second lab facility and additional office and warehouse space in the now vacant RayOVac/Spectrum site that will be added to TID #46 in a boundary amendment that must be approved by the Joint Review Board and certified by the WI Dept of Revenue. The $2.5M loan will utilize the city's Jobs Project TIF policy. The applicant promises to renovate the property and retain/create 250 FTE jobs that pay a living wage over a 5 year period. Wages will range from $15/hr to over $100K/year. Exact Sciences has indicated they will sign a MOU with the Urban League of Greater Madison to faciliate outreach and job training to nearby low income residents in the Park Edge/Park Ridge neighborhood. This loan will require a waiver of the city's TIF policy because the percentage of increment used for the job development exceeds the 40% maximum in city policy. The cost per job is $8333 compared to the recent state decision to spend $219,231 per job for the subsidy to Foxconn


11.  48495 2018 Executive Capital Budget


There are 24 capital budget amendments proposed by Finance members. These may be of interest:


5) Appropriate $890,000 in GO Borrowing for real estate, design, and construction costs associated with the Darbo Webb Connection project within the Engineering Major Streets capital budget in 2018. The goal of this project is to improve connectivity for major employers in the area. 

->This project was in the Mayor's 2018 Executive Budget but the cost of real estate acquisition was inadvertently left out.


9) Transfer $957,000 of GO Borrowing within Reconstruct Streets to TIF Proceeds using TID 37 for the reconstruction of Winnebago Street from 2nd Street to 6th Street in 2018. 

->This project was in the Mayor's 2018 Executive Budget but the amendment changes funding to use TID 37 funds instead of using General Obligation borrowing.


11) Appropriate $250,000 of TID 36 borrowing to fund partial undergrounding of the overhead utility wires on Jenifer Street from Williamson Street to Few Street in 2018. The use of TID 36 borrowing is proposed via the 1/2 mile rule, use of these funds is contingent upon approval from the TIF Joint Review Board. 

-> I am proposing an amendment to create a pilot for partial undergrounding, it is the culmination of two years of conversation about how to preserve street trees under power lines. 


Analysis: The proposed amendment adds $250,000 of TID 36 borrowing for the undergrounding of utility wires on Jenifer Street from Williamson Street to Few Street in 2018. The undergrounding of utility wires will enable larger canopy trees to be planted on the street medians. The model proposed by this amendment is a pilot for partial undergrounding. The goal of the pilot is to remove high voltage power lines from electrical poles and redirecting them underground with a pneumatic bore, while retaining the secondary power lines and cable and telephone above ground. Having high voltage wires underground, canopy trees can be planted safely under the lines without the need for pruning. The goal of piloting this approach is to determine if this is a cost effective solution for maintaining the City's tree canopy without pursuing full undergrounding. The current City policy for funding overhead utility line undergrounding, adopted by the Common Council in March of 2011, does not permit the use of GO borrowing for the proposed project. Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds are only permitted for undergrounding of overhead lines when authorized in the relevant TID project plan approved by the TIF Joint Review Board and tax increment is sufficient to support the costs. The current status of TID 36 reflects unrecovered costs of approximately $23 million. In 2018 the district is projected to generate $1,967,070 of increment, down from $2,282,770 in 2017. The current TID 36 project plan does not anticipate additional spending until the district begins to recover costs already incurred.


12) Add a project for the reconfiguration of the intersection at Atwood Avenue and Winnebago Street (Schenk's Corners) in 2020.  Total $3.12M

->This project was taken out of the 5 year capital improvement plan in the 2018 Executive Budget, I put it back in for 2020.


Analysis: The proposed amendment adds funding for the reconfiguration of the intersection at Atwood Avenue and Winnebago Street, known as Schenk's Corners, in 2020. Initial planning for the project involved stakeholders from the area and City staff. The results from this engagement informed the project scope which includes reconfiguration of the existing intersection, undergrounding overhead utilities, and placemaking for the surrounding area. The current pavement rating of the intersection is 5 of 10. This project first appeared in the 2014 CIP with construction planned for 2016. The project remained in 2016 until the 2017 CIP when it was deferred to 2018. In 2017, the project was deferred to 2019. The project is not currently anticipated in the 2018 Executive CIP.


18) Appropriate $200,000 in GO Borrowing in 2018, and add $200,000 in GO Borrowing and $100,000 in Impact Fees in 2019 for a newly created Law Park Improvements project in the Parks Division capital budget. Funding will be used for planning and technical and schematic design work for improvements at Law Park.

-> I am co-sponsoring this new initiatative with Alder Verveer.


Analysis: The planning process is anticipated to take two years and will include a significant public engagement process, evaluation of site constraints and the feasibility of expanding the park footprint to accommodate the addition of the Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse, and other improvements. The nearly complete John Nolen Study, currently underway by City Engineering, has identified a reconfiguration of the parking lot and relocation of the boat ramp in Law Park to facilitate proposed transportation improvements. This process will be completed as part of the park master plan process. Additional funding will be needed in future years for design (potentially $1.5m) and construction of the improvements approved as part of the park master plan (approximately $15m, depending on the outcome of the plan). 


In addition, there are amendments pushing up the timing of the Metro Satellite bus facility, a police body worn camera pilot for the North District, purchasing 18 high resolution surveillance cameras and dog park improvements at Brittingham, among other items.


Monday September 25

Sustainable Madison Committee

4:30p room 357 CCB


1. 48617 SUBSTITUTE Authorizing the City Engineer to create a Volunteer Winter Maintenance Certification Program for both private winter maintenance professionals and City staff.


4. 48909 Presentation by Madison Metropolitan Sewage District staff on reducing salt through water softener best practice.


Both items address how to reduce salt in our water supply.

Tuesday September 26

Madison Water Utility

4:30p room Conference A & B 119 E Oin Ave


4. 48832 Amending the Water Utility's adopted 2017 Capital Budget to transfer $50,000 of revenue bond funding from the Unit Well #8 Reconstruction project to the Well 12 Conversion project for the redesign of the Upgrade of Unit Well 12, and authorizing the Mayor and the City Clerk to execute an amendment to the Professional Services Agreement with SEH, Inc. for pre-design planning, public participation support, the preparation of final construction drawings and specifications, permitting, bidding, and construction administration for the redesign of the Upgrade of Unit Well 12.


Tuesday September 26

Historic Preservation Plan kickoff

6p Goodman Community Center


Please join us to create Madison's first plan to identify, celebrate and preserve the places that represent our collective community at the Historic Preservation Plan kick off meeting. The City of Madison is excited to expand its preservation program, but we need your help!

Wednesday September 27

Street Use Staff Commission

10a room 108 CCB

Lots of events still on the calendar.

Wednesday September 27

Urban Design Commission

4:30p room 351 CCB


2. 48453 821 East Washington Avenue - Comprehensive Design Review for "The Spark" Located in UDD No. 8. 6th Ald. Dist. Owner: American Family Financial Services, LeeAnn Glover Applicant: Caroline Altfeather & Erin Rago, ZebraDog Final Approval is Requested 


3. 48454 811 East Washington Avenue - Comprehensive Design Review for "The Gebhardt Building" Located in UDD No. 8. 6th Ald. Dist. Owner: Otto Gebhardt, Gebhardt Development Applicant: Mary Beth Growney Selene, Ryan Signs, Inc. & Caroline Altfeather, ZebraDog Final Approval is Requested 


4. 48923 811 East Washington Avenue - Final Design Progression of Architectural Detail for "The Gebhardt Building" Located in UDD No. 8. 6th Ald. Dist. Owner: Otto Gebhardt Applicant: Caroline Altfeather, ZebraDog Final Approval is Requested


Signage and other final details.

Wednesday September 27

Sustainable Madison Committee

6p room 302 Downtown Library

48671 What Does a 100% Renewable Energy Madison Look Like to You? 
Come to the Kick-Off Meeting to share your ideas about how the City of Madison is going to achieve this ambitious goal. 


Thursday September 28
Public Information Meeting: Darbo-Webb new street connection
6:30p Salvation Army 3030 Darbo Drive
Please join me and City Engineering and Planning staff to get information and give your feedback about the 2018 proposal to add a new street connection between Darbo and Webb Ave, 





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