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 January 1, 2018

January 2, 2018 5:44 PM

Highlights: Happy New Year! I will do my best to provide meaningful information to keep you apprised of district and city issues and will work with interested residents to advocate for progressive changes on the local, state and federal level in 2018. The Council meeting Tuesday will take up the Mayoral veto of Taco Bell Cantina 534 State Street. I am interested in your thoughts, see agenda item #12 below.  Plus there are two D6 licenses up for approval - Tiny's Tap House and Cafe Coda. The city is continuing to pursue federal grants for Bus Rapid Transit, the process is expected to take 12-16 months. For introduction and referral on the Council agenda is an amendment to reallocate most of the$750K from the 2018 adopted budget. Since we did not receive a federal COPs grant for new officers, an amendment is being proposed to use the money earmarked for matching funds and use it to pay for 8 police officers and equipment (instead of 15). 


On Wednesday January 3, I am organizing a meeting so neighbors can learn more about a street festival proposed for Baldwin and Willy St  June 2 and 3. The city's Street Use Staff team and the ALRC will be reviewing the application on January 17.  


On Wednesday January 10, City Engineering will hold a Public Information Meeting on Winnebago/Linden/Atwood Ave reconstruction, see the Upcoming Meetings at end of the blog for details.


The OIR Group principals will be back in Madison on Thursday January 11 to brief members of the Council and the MPD Policy and Procedures Ad Hoc Review Committee about the study they conducted of MPD and the 146 recommendations included in their report. The meeting will be televised on city channel. MPD is expected to have a written response by the end of January. The MPD Ad Hoc Review Committee will hold a community meeting to gather feedback in the next couple of months as they work on finalizing their report to the Common Council. 


Curbside leaf and yard waste collection has officially ended, it will resume in March or April of 2018, depending on weather. You can still take yard waste to 4602 Sycamore Ave, the east side Streets Division drop off site. They are open for winter hours, 7:30a to 3p Monday-Friday. East side Streets Division can be reached at 608-246-4532.


Tuesday January 2, 2018

Common Council meeting

6:30p room 201 CCB


4. 49637 Public Hearing - New License Encore Adventure LLC • dba Tiny's Tap House 308 S Paterson Street • Agent: Holly Alexander • Estimated Capacity: 30 Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 75% alcohol, 20% food Aldermanic District 6 (Alder Rummel) • Police Sector 408 


12/20/17 ALCOHOL LICENSE REVIEW COMMITTEE RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO GRANT WITH CONDITIONS - PUBLIC HEARING The conditions are: 1) Sunday - Thursday Hours of Operation are 3 pm to 11 pm. Friday and Saturday Hours of Operation are 3 pm to 2 am. 2) Outdoor patio lighting must be below the fence and facing down. 3) The bar will have a maximum capacity of 30. 4) No amplified music on patio.


5. 49646 Public Hearing - New License Musonics LLC • dba Cafe CODA 1222 Williamson Street • Agent: Hanah Jon Taylor Estimated Capacity: 99 Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 62% alcohol, 9% food, 29% other Aldermanic District 6 (Alder Rummel) • Police Sector 408 


12/20/17 ALCOHOL LICENSE REVIEW COMMITTEE RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO GRANT WITH CONDITIONS - PUBLIC HEARING The conditions are: 1) Maximum of two dance events per week with a maximum of one event held on Friday or Saturday night. 2) The club will close by midnight. 3) The decibel level in adjacent residences (apartments) will not exceed 60 decibels. 4) There will be a maximum capacity of 99 people. 5) The club will continue to maintain a strong community engagement program in cultural arts and creative music, e.g. world music review, documentaries.



49261 Public Hearing - New License Bell Great Lakes LLC • dba Taco Bell #3004063 534 State St • Agent: Ramon Santana III • Estimated Capacity: 72 Class B Combination Liquor & Beer, Class C Wine • 5% alcohol, 95% food Aldermanic District 2 (Alder Zellers) • Police Sector 403 


11/15/17 ALCOHOL LICENSE REVIEW COMMITTEE RECOMMEND TO COUNCIL TO GRANT WITH CONDITIONS - PUBLIC HEARING The conditions are: 1. Shall cease the service of alcohol no later than 10 pm Sunday - Thursday and no later than 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. 2. Establishment must meet the definition of a restaurant under Section 38.02 of Madison General Ordinances at all times. 3. Food must be available at all times. 4. Establishment staff must regularly patrol and discourage loitering at and around the premises.  12/5/17 COMMON COUNCIL Grant with Condition(s) and Close the Public Hearing 12/11/17 Mayor Veto


My comments: The Council will automatically take up consideration of override of the Mayor's veto. The 500 block of State Street and the intersection of Frances/Gilman/University have been identified by the police as 'hotspots'. Significant resources have been spent to manage these areas on Thurs-Saturday nights. The Mayor's veto message mentions the strategy of fast food restaurants to seek beer/wine and eventually full alcohol licenses as a way to maximize profits for their prime locations. He is concerned about public safety and the growing number of violent incidents on Friday and Saturday nights in the lower State St area that stretch police resources. The applicant states they will train staff and effectively manage their restaurant, and, since they are primarily a restaurant (95% food), they don't believe they will contribute to problem drinking in the area. I am concerned about the density of alcohol establishments and while each application should be judged on its merits, at some point I think the character of an area changes. I do support the two licenses on Tuesday's agenda for Willy St. I know many people enjoy the new locally owned and operated restaurants on Willy St, but I do think a lot about how we insure there is a healthy mix of neighborhood serving businesses and food and beverage establishments. Having worked at an independent bookstore, I know from personal experience the struggles of brick and mortar retail stores in the age of Amazon are bigger than Madison. The public health impacts of alcohol are real as well.


26. 49650 18+ Center for Visual & Performing Arts License Musonics LLC • dba Cafe CODA • Capacity: 99 1222 Williamson Street • Agent: Hanah Jon Taylor Class B Combination Liquor & Beer • 62% alcohol, 9% food, 29% other Aldermanic District 6 (Alder Rummel) • Police Sector 408 LICENT-2017-01183 App.pdf D6 items at 12_20_17 ALRC meeting.pdf MNA Support 49650.pdf Attachments: Legislative History 


Conditions are same as #5.


42. 49746 Declaring the City of Madison's intention to exercise its police powers establishing South Livingston Street Reconstruction Assessment District - 2018. 


45. 49749 Declaring the City of Madison's intention to exercise its police powers establishing the Darbo Drive to Webb Avenue New Street Connection Assessment District - 2018. 


52. 49791 Declaring the City of Madison's intention to exercise its police powers establishing the Winnebago Street, Atwood Avenue and Linden Avenue Assessment District - 2018. 


See Upcoming Meeting at the end of the blog for more information.


63. 49504 Amending Sections 2.31 and 33.01(9)(b) of the Madison General Ordinances to protect the right to breastfeed in the Council chambers and at committee meetings.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: In a recent incident in another Wisconsin community, a member of the Common Council was denied the right to breastfeed her child, based on rules governing the Council chambers. This ordinance protects the right to breastfeed in the Madison Common Council chambers, as well as at meetings of City boards, commissions, and committees.


65. 49925 Amending RES-17-00482, FILE ID 47316 Establishing the Oscar Mayer Strategic Assessment Committee.


66. 49932 Amending RES-17-00911, FILE ID 49177 Creating the Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee


On November 21, 2017 by Resolution the City of Madison Common Council? authorized the creation of the Historic Preservation Plan Advisory Committee (File #49177, Enactment No. RES-17-00911). The Resolution established the membership of the Advisory Committee as follows: up to 13 members including one Landmarks Commission member, two Common Council members- one of whom shall also be a member of the Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee, and additional community members including broadly representative members, including members of underrepresented groups and members with knowledge and/or experience that may include historic preservation, real estate, development or renovation, architecture, local history, local historic preservation or cultural resources, ownership of a locally designated landmark or property in a local historic district, or tourism. The amendment will allow the Mayor to appoint three Common Council members to help achieve a broadly representative Advisory Committee, one of whom shall also be a member of the Landmarks Ordinance Review Committee.


73. 47513 SUBSTITUTE Supporting the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Inter-Agency Staff Team recommendation to proceed with Phase 1 Project Development in an east-west corridor running through the UW Campus and Madison's Central Business District (CBD), with the east and west project termini to be determined. Sponsors: Paul R. Soglin and Rebecca Kemble BRT-Staff-Team-Evaluation-Summary-101317.pdf BRT 2013 Preliminary Feasibility Study Resources (MPO) Bus Rapid Transit Corridor Feasibility Analysis.pdf Version_1.pdf


See #112




85. 49900 Amending the table of Section 28.206 of the Madison General Ordinances by increasing the building plan review fee and creating an Early Start Permit review fee.


DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: This amendment adjusts the zoning fees in accordance with the increases contained in the 2018 City Budget. * The Common Council of the City of Madison do hereby ordain as follows: 1. The Table of Section 28.206 entitled "Fee" of the Madison General Ordinances is amended by amending therein the following: "Type of Action Fee Building plan review fee. This fee is assessed by the Zoning Unit and collected by the Building Inspection Division of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development for the examination and approval of building plans of all new buildings and structures, additions and alternations, and for all other services authorized by the Common Council. $.0203 per square foot, minimum fee of $25.00. The fee for building square footage is determined based on floor area measurements taken from outside of the building at each floor level, including the basement. Early Start Permit review fee. This fee is assessed by the Zoning Unit and collected by the Building Inspection Division of the Department of Planning and Community and Economic Development for the examination and approval of building plans of all new buildings and structures, additions and alternations, and for all other services authorized by the Common Council. $.01 per square foot, minimum fee of $25.00. The fee for building square footage is determined based on floor area measurements taken from outside of the building a including the basement.


95. 49719 Authorizing the execution of a First Amendment to Lease pertaining to a lease with Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Community Center, Inc. for a portion of the City's East Rail Corridor located adjacent to 214 Waubesa Street. Sponsors: Marsha A. Rummel Attachments: 11349 RES-17-00585 binder.pdf


101. 49855 Amending the 2018 Adopted Operating Budget of the Police Department to authorize the addition of eight (8) patrol officer positions and the purchase of three (3) marked squad cars.


Fiscal Note
The 2018 Madison Police Department (MPD) adopted operating budget includes $750,000 for the match for 15 patrol officers and 5 vehicles in the event MPD received a COPS hiring grant. MPD was notified in November 2017 that it did not receive the grant award. The proposed resolution authorizes amending the MPD budget to add eight (8) police officer positions and to allocate funding in the amount of $416,385 for the salaries, benefits, supplies, and services needed for these positions to start in the May 2018 Academy and to authorize $163,530 for the purchase and equipping of three (3) marked squad cars. The remaining $170,085 of the budgeted match will stay in the Police Department budget to be reallocated should the Mayor and Council determine there is a need. These funds are not available for any purpose without Council approval. The ongoing annual cost of the eight positions is approximately $600,000.


112. 49934 Authorizing the issuance of an Interagency Staff Team-led Request for Proposals (RFP) for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project Development and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Small Starts Application for a Phase 1 East-West Corridor.



Adoption of the Resolution will not commit the City of Madison to additional expenditures at this time, but represents the next step toward significant potential impacts on future City capital and operating expenses. Future costs may be borne by a mix of Federal, State and Local dollars. Future extensions of the initial Phase 1 BRT project may have additional impacts to City finances.


Following approval of this Resolution, an RFP will be issued to solicit consultant proposals. A subsequent resolution to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a contract with the selected firm(s) will be necessary.


Resolution ID 47513 (to be adopted 1-2-18) authorized advancement toward BRT system project development. City staff estimate that the first phase of the planning process (FTA Project Development and Small Starts Application) will take approximately 12-16 months to complete. After that, if approved by FTA to enter the federal Small Starts process, further project development, environmental evaluation and project design processes are estimated to take another 12-16 months to complete. The goal is to complete these steps by fall 2020 when a Small Starts construction grant application would be submitted. Staff resources from the Department of Planning & Community & Economic Development, Metro Transit, Traffic Engineering, City Engineering, and the Madison Area Transportation Planning Board - a Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) will be necessary to provide support for future planning and/or project development work on a BRT system.


118. 49964 Amending RES-17-00539 authorizing the amendment of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Madison and RDC Development, LLC for the acquisition of a gray box condominium unit for the relocation of the Pinney Library, and authorizing funding to pay for said unit.


119. 49965 Amendment to RES-17-00540 Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a development agreement to fund a $820,000 Tax Incremental Finance Loan to Royster Corners, LLC or its assigns to assist in the development of the Project in Phase I of the Royster Corners development in TID #44 (Royster Clark) and amend the 2017 Capital Budget to authorize the expenditure.


120. 49974 BY TITLE ONLY - Amending the 2018 Adopted Capital Budgets of Engineering-Major Streets, Sewer Utility, Stormwater Utility and Water Utility for the Monroe Street project. (13th AD)


Wednesday January 3

Neighborhood meeting Pursuit of Happiness event

6:30p Yahara room, Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center 953 Jenifer St


Please join me for a neighborhood meeting where we will hear about Bob Queen's proposal for the "Pursuit of Happiness" event on June 2 and June 3, 2018.  The event would involve several musical acts on two stages along with food and beer vendors.  Mr. Queen has applied for street closures on the 300 and 400 blocks of S. Baldwin Street and on portions of the 1200 and 1300 blocks of Williamson Street.  The Street Use Staff Commission will make a decision on the street closure application at its meeting on January 17.  The Alcohol License Review Committee will consider the application for a Temporary Class B license for beer sales at its meeting on January 17, and the Common Council will take final action on the alcohol license application at its February 6 meeting.


Thursday January 4

Public Market Development Committee

5p room GR 27 CCB (enter 211 S Carroll St)


27499 Public Market Discussion - MarketReady Program Update - Public Market Foundation Update - Fundraising Update - New Market Tax Credits Update - Project design and development agreement discussion?


Upcoming Meetings


Public Information meeting Winnebago reconstruction

Wednesday, January 10 

6:00p Goodman Community Center Bolz Room A 149 Waubesa St.


Impacted neighbors should have gotten the following letter with a project map. 

The City of Madison is proposing to reconstruct a portion of Winnebago St. and Linden Ave. in 2018. Work on Winnebago St. between Second St. and Bashford Ave. will include replacement of utilities and replacement of the curb and pavement; work on Linden Ave. between Winnebago St. and Rusk St. will include replacement of the utilities and pavement, but most of the curb is planned to remain. The project will also include some utility work down Atwood Ave. between First St. and Second St., but the pavement in this area will only be patched in the areas that the utility is completed. 

City Engineering will be hosting a public informational meeting on the proposed reconstruction of Winnebago St. and Linden Ave., which will also include a discussion some options for the proposed reconstruction of Winnebago Street. This meeting will be held at the date, time and location noted below.  This portion of Winnebago St. is currently 48 ft. wide, with a travel lane, bike lane, and parking lane in both directions, and approximately a 3 ft. terrace on both sides. Due to significant grade differences, a portion of the southeasterly side terrace has walls and railings adjacent to the sidewalk. Potential options for reconstructing Winnebago Street include: 

1. Narrowing the travel lanes by 1 ft. each, making the total street width 46 ft., while maintaining all of the existing lanes. Terraces would widen by approximately 1 ft. on each side.

2.  Remove parking on one side, but maintain all travel and bike lanes. This option could narrow the street to 40 ft., which would widen the terraces further and improve the grade challenges more.

3.  Can also consider an option that combines both of the first options: a portion of the street with all existing lanes, and another portion that has parking removed on one side. 



Thursday January 11

Council Briefing on OIR Report on MPD practices and policies

with MPD Policy and Procedure Ad Hoc Review Committee

6p room 201 CCB 

Link to report and executive overview



Tuesday January 30

Joint meeting of Landmarks Commission, Board of Park Commmissioners, and Equal Opportunities Commission

to consider actions on Confederate monuments at Forest Hill Cemetery (per legislative file 48643)

6p Warner Park Community Recreation Center 1625 Northport Dr.


"...[A]s the owners of Forest Hills Cemetery, the Confederate Rest Area, and the UDC and CSA Plaque Monuments, the City has an obligation to the visitors at Forest Hills Cemetery and the citizens of this City, to reexamine the continued display of these monuments and the message that these monuments convey and support; and ... that the Board of Parks Commissioners, through their authority under Madison General Ordinances Section 8.11, the Landmarks Commission, through its authority over Forest Hills Cemetery under Madison General Ordinances Chapter 41, and the Equal Opportunities Commission shall jointly meet to consider the following three options with regard to the two Lost Cause monuments in Forest Hill Cemetery:  whether to take down and permanently remove the two Lost Cause monuments, whether to leave the monuments in place but alter the messages contained therein, and whether to leave one or both of the Lost Cause monuments in the Cemetery but erect a new monument providing detail of the false narrative of the Lost Cause and the role these monuments play in that effort."


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