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 October 7, 2019

October 5, 2019 10:59 PM

Highlights: Last Tuesday Mayor Rhodes-Conway introduced her 2020 Executive Operating Budget.  Agencies will make presentations at the Finance Committee on Monday and Thursday. The big news is that Mayor Satya proposes to introduce a vehicle registration fee of $40. There is enabling legislation on the Finance agenda to authorize the city to establish the fee. The vehicle registration fee would generate approximately $7.9 million annually to be used to expand Metro services in anticipation of implementing a bus rapid transit system. Last year, the Council did not support then Mayor Soglin's proposal for a $17 vehicle registration fee. If the Council adopts the 2020 budget with the fee in place, the annual cost of vehicle registration will rise to $153. In the Mayor's budget message she says: "I would prefer to pursue alternatives other than a vehicle registration fee, but it is the only option to achieve a modern transit infrastructure which supports our growing economy and decreases inequity in our community. Nevertheless, even with this new fee, the cost of operating a vehicle in Madison will remain among the lowest in the Midwest".


Other highlights of the Mayor's budget include funding a Teen Programming Specialist at Warner Park Community Recreation Center, a Teen Librarian at the Goodman South Library, and providing free summer bus passes to eligible middle and high school students. In addition to creating programming and services that support young people directly, the Mayor proposes to increase support for the 15 neighborhood centers currently funded by the City. The goal is to encourage centers to expand their hours and outreach to families in the communities they serve. 


The 2020 Executive Operating Budget provides funding for one of the major recommendations from the MPD Policy and Procedures Ad Hoc Review Committee- to create an Independent Police Auditor position. In order to meet budget gaps, the Mayor's budget proposes changes to how some agencies do their work. For example, the budget consolidates urban forestry activities conducted along our city streets previously housed separately in the Streets and Parks Divisions into one group in the Streets Division. Under this new model the Streets Division will eliminate redundancies in tasks and provide staff with more time to maintain the City's urban forest. Read Mayor Satya's operating budget message


The F-35A Operational Beddown EIS comment period was extended until November 1. Please forward your comments to Mr. Ramon Ortiz, F-35A EIS Project Manager, NGB/A4AM, Sheppard Hall, 3501 Fetchet Ave, Joint Base Andrews MD 20765-5157.  The draft Environmental Impact statement is available at (read the Executive Summary or the Final Noise Summary for the 115th FW in the Documents Incorporated by Reference).  You can make online comments too via the website link.  The National Guard Bureau will respond to substantive comments in the final EIS but they count all comments. See my previous posts for substantive comments. In my opinion, we need to ask the NGB to redo the EIS, and, all hands on deck.


Stay tuned for more community meetings organized by community organizations and north and east side local elected officials.  I will post updates as dates are confirmed.


Please join me at the second community meeting with the staff and volunteers from the Beacon on October 16th from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at The Beacon 615 E Washington (enter from the back parking lot). Beacon staff will present a summary of their work providing day resources in support individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as take input from attendees. 


Monday October 7, 2019

Finance Committee

4:30 room 215 MMB


5. 57508 Amending the 2019 Adopted Operating Budget to appropriate $39,000 of federal funding in the Streets Division and Approving the City's acceptance of the US Environmental Protection Agency's "Supporting Local Infrastructure for Anaerobic Digestion" grant to study feasibility of developing a regional anaerobic digester; authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute any documents accepting the grant award. (16th AD)


The proposed resolution authorizes the City to accept a federal grant to conduct a feasibility study for constructing a Biodigester. The total grant award is $39,000; all of the grant funding will be used for a consultant study to carry out the project. The grant requires a $41,632 local match that will be funded by staff time dedicated to the project. These funds are already included within agency budgets. Capital funding for construction of a city-owned Biodigester was included in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) from 2013 to 2015; the project was eliminated from the CIP in 2016. At that time, the estimated project cost was between $18.6 million and $20.6 million.


8. 57594 Awarding up to $3.225 million from the Affordable Housing Fund and $900,000 in Federal HOME funds to support three affordable housing development projects, selected through a City Request for Proposals (RFP) process, that will construct approximately 200 units of affordable rental housing in Madison, and authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute loan agreements with the developers of those projects.


The proposed resolution authorizes awarding $4.125 million in loans for three proposed affordable housing developments. The $4.125 million is split between the Community Development Division's Affordable Housing-Development Projects capital program and HOME program. Collectively, these projects will contribute to the development of approximately 200 units of affordable rental housing.


The resolution proposes the following allocation of funds:
· Up to $1,400,000 million of Affordable Housing funds to Age Better, Inc. and Gorman & Company, LLC or an affiliate LLC for Elderberry Place Apartments
· Up to $1,700,000 million of Affordable Housing funds to MSP Real Estate, Inc., or an affiliate LLC for 1212 Huxley Street Apartments
· Up to $1,025,000 ($125,000 of Affordable Housing funds and $900,000 of HOME funds) to Movin' Out, Inc., or an affiliate LLC for Red Caboose Apartments


10. 57597 Accepting the recommendations of the Community Development Division (CDD) Conference Committee regarding the allocation of City funds, beginning in 2020, for neighborhood center "Center Support" payments and for payments to neighborhood centers that support School-Age Child and Youth Development programs.


The goal of the Neighborhood Center and School-Age Child and Youth Development funding process was to begin to implement new funding frameworks that better articulate performance expectations for contracted agencies, reflect best practices and community input, and improve transparency in funding structures by more clearly describing expectations for funded agencies. Pursuant to the direction provided in the policy papers, the CDD conducted a funding process to designate city-funded neighborhood centers as either Tier 1 or Tier 2 facilities and to allocate Center Support and School-Age Child and Youth Development funds accordingly.


The proposed resolution accepts the recommendations of the Community Development Division's Conference Committee and authorizes a total of $2,469,690 in contracted services with neighborhood centers. The $2.47 million will be disbursed among 15 neighborhood centers, with $1.31 million contributing towards neighborhood center support and $1.16 million contributing towards school-age child and youth development programs at those neighborhood centers. The contracts were selected following a request for proposals (RFP) process released by the Community Development Division and adopted by the Common Council on June 11, 2019 in RES-19-00428, Legistar File #55944 . The 2020 Executive Operating Budget fully funds the proposed contracts.


11. 57618 Authorizing a long-term advance from the General Fund to the Golf Enterprise Fund to provide sufficient cash to meet ongoing expenses and obligations.


The Golf Enterprise Fund seeks a long-term advance not to exceed $1,500,000 from the General Fund to finance its cash deficit position through the end of 2019.  This long-term advance will be repaid by the Golf Enterprise Fund over the next 4 years from operations. The goal of the long-term advance is to provide sufficient time to determine the future of golf course operations, and how to best address the structural deficits within the enterprise fund. 


12. 57669 Creating Sec. 12.177 of the Madison General Ordinances to establish a City of Madison motor vehicle registration fee.


This ordinance authorizes a local vehicle registration fee as allowed under state law. A $40 fee is anticipated to raise $7.9 million annually based on estimates of eligible vehicles registered in the city. Proceeds from a local vehicle registration fee must be used for transportation purposes. Use of the revenues from a local vehicle registration fee requires appropriation by the Common Council through a resolution (i.e., the budget) and is included as a revenue source for Metro Transit in the 2020 executive operating budget. The state vehicle registration fee is $85 annually. Dane County has a local vehicle registration fee of $28. The County fee applies to all eligible vehicles in the county, including eligible vehicles in the City of Madison. A $40 fee levied by the City of Madison would result in a total vehicle registration fee in the City of $153.

DRAFTER'S ANALYSIS: Wis. Stat. § 341.45 authorizes municipalities (and counties) to establish a local motor vehicle registration fee. These fees are collected by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) at the time of vehicle registration or renewal, and are remitted to the municipality within thirty days after the end of the month in which the fee is collected. WisDOT retains an administrative fee (currently $0.17/registration). The revenues from these fees may only be used for transportation related purposes. This ordinance shall be effective on March 1, 2020. In order to be effective on this date, this ordinance must be adopted no later than the Council's November 19, 2019 meeting. This ordinance shall be effective March 1, 2020.


The city is limited  by the state's uniformity clause which does not permit a tax based on value, miles driven or age of the vehicle.  Article VIII, section 1, of the Wisconsin Constitution requires, in part, the uniform taxation of property.  It could raise almost $8M/year to expand Metro services and construct a bus rapid transit system (the income forecast assumes people won't give up their cars...). Let me know what you think.


13. 57679 Judge Doyle: Negotiating Team Progress Report Noticed to go into Closed Session


The City's Negotiating Team recommends that, at the Finance Committee's October 7th meeting, it convene in closed session to review the affordable housing financing options and to provide direction to the Negotiating Team on this element of the project. Discussion of these options will include the amount of support from the City's Affordable Housing Fund, the number of affordable units, the income eligibility levels of those units, and the interaction of these options with the developer payment for the podium and air rights. Looking ahead, Stone House will be making informational presentations to the CDBG Commission on October 3rd , the Landmarks Commission on October 14th and the Urban Design Commission on October 30th


14. 57501 2020 Executive Operating Budget


There doesn't appear to be a link to the draft budget...check back Monday.

The presentations from agencies regarding the 2020 Executive Operating budget will continue on Thursday


Thursday October 10

Finance Committee

4:30 room 215 MMB


Thursday October 10

City County Homeless Issues Committee

6:30p room 206 MMB


1. 57701 City County Homeless Issues Committee 2020 Budget Listening Session

2. 57702 Discussion and Possible Recommendations Regarding Public Comment From the Committee Budget Listening Session

3. 57703 Discussion and Possible Recommendations Regarding the 2020 City of Madison and Dane County Budgets

4. 57704 Discussion and Possible Recommendations Regarding the July 2019 Point in Time Memo Presentation

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