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 7, 2020

September 7, 2020 5:06 PM

Independent Monitor and Civilian Oversight of Police. After a nine hour meeting that ended just before 4a on September 2,  2020, the Madison Common Council adopted MGO sections 5.20 and 5.19  to create the Office of the Independent Police Monitor and the Police Civilian Oversight Board. These ordinances are the result of years of work by members of the Madison Police Department Policy and Procedures Review Ad Hoc Committee, police reform advocates, the OIR Group, city staff and the Common Council. The final version of the ordinance was drafted by an Alder Workgroup chaired by Alder Donna Moreland that also included Alders Shiva Bidar and Rebecca Kemble. A call for nominations for At-Large Seats on the Police Civilian Oversight Board has been released and anyone interested in applying can find details here Apply for at large position on Civilian Oversight Board. The deadline for submitting nominations or self-nominations is Wednesday, September 16, 2020. The mission of the Civilian Oversight Board is to "provide within the City of Madison a body that is independent from the review and make recommendations regarding police discipline, use of force, and other policies and activities, including related to rules, hiring, training, community relations, and complaint processes".  Much thanks to everyone's dedication and service. We still have work to do.

COVID Cases Spike. Dane County's number of positive COVID-19 cases for September 5, 2020 was 147, the highest single-day number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Previously, the highest number of cases in a single day was 141 on June 30. This record-setting day follows several days with over a hundred cases. Of these cases, at least half were UW-Madison students or staff. This includes people tested on campus. It does not include all students who might have been tested at off-campus test sites. As such, this number will increase as contact tracers complete interviews. On August 24, I joined with several of my county, school board and city council colleagues to co-sign a Letter of Support to Public Health Director Janel Heinrich and UW Chancellor Rebecca Blank raising concerns about the impact of returning students on UW staff and community members.

Public Health Madison & Dane County recommends that everyone in the community:

Avoid gatherings. Skipping gatherings limits the chance for virus to spread. Nearly 4 in 10 people who test positive say they gathered with people they don't live with.

Wear masks. Masks are required indoors, and wearing masks outdoors is strongly recommended anytime you are near others.

PHMDC Dashboard

UW Smart Restart


City meetings of interest this week are agency presentations on the 2021 Executive Capital Budget Tuesday and Wednesday at the Finance Commitee. Finance will also review the final report and task force on municipal golf on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the Police and Fire Commission continues to collect public input into what we should be looking for in a new Police Chief with the help of the Local Voices Network who will host small facilitated group conversations to discuss the role that police can or should play in our community. These recordings will be transcribed, indexed and shared with journalists, public officials, and the public via the webpage. Participants must pre-register at, this week's session will be conducted in Spanish. On Thursday, the Community Development Block Grant Committee hears presentations from applicants in the 2020 Affordable Housing Fund RFP Process. Applicants include the Salvation Army.  On Thursday, the Body-Worn Camera Feasibility Review Committee meets. Check out the Official weekly meeting schedule for more details


Tuesday Sept 8, 2020


4:30p click on the agenda for info on how to access the Zoom meeting, send comments on agenda items to and to regarding budget items


61827 2021 Executive Capital Budget


Agency schedule for Tuesday and Wednesday

2021 Budget Calendar – The Executive Capital Budget was introduced on September 1. The Finance Committee will get to ask questions Tuesday and Wednesday with amendments to the Executive Capital Budget voted on by Finance on September 21. The Executive Operating budget will be introduced October 6, with agency presentations to Finance on October 12-13. Finance can offer amendments to the Operating Budget on October 26. The Common Council can also amend the Capital and Operating Budgets during the final budget deliberations November 10-11.


Mayor's 2021 Capital Budget Executive Summary highlights:

· Increasing the City's investment in supporting the development of affordable housing projects from $5.5 million annually to $6.5 million annually by 2023. Starting in 2021, $2.0 million annually from this funding source will be set aside for developments not associated with tax credit programs to help more types of developments and organizations access these funds.

· Continuing and expanding the Land Banking program we began in the 2020 Capital Budget. My budget increases funding for this initiative by $3 million over the next two years to ensure the City is able to acquire strategic parcels of land to combat gentrification specifically on the South side of Madison to assist displaced residents and stabilize our housing market.

· Continuing the Small Business Equity and Recovery program that was recently approved by the Common Council. The Executive dudget includes $6.5 million for this new program over the CIP. These funds will be used to promote equity and resiliency during this time of economic recovery. This program will help business owners of color, women, and other underrepresented business owners to start or expand their businesses and invest in equipment to protect workers and visitors from COVID.

· Funding the first phase of Bus Rapid Transit with the goal of having the East-West corridor operational by 2024. This $160 million capital investment leveraging federal and local sources has the potential to reduce ride times by 35%. Implementing BRT will allow the city to redesign existing bus routes. Once this work is complete residents will be better connected to employment hubs, retail centers, and medical services in a way that will no longer require hour-long ride times and carefully planned transfers.

· Allocating $3.0 million for the Vision Zero program to redesign the City's most dangerous intersections in a way that will reduce traffic and pedestrian crashes.

· Increasing funding for Energy & Sustainability Improvements by nearly $10.0 million across the CIP and sustaining the increased investment through 2026. This will allow us to grow our Green Power solar apprenticeship program to create career pathways in solar power while making progress toward the critical goal of reducing our carbon emissions.

· Continuing to invest in flood mitigation projects based on recommendations from watershed studies that have been underway since 2019. The Executive budget seeks to invest $21.6 million over the next 5 years to ensure our Stormwater network can keep residents safe when large rain events occur.

· Accelerating the investment in LED (light-emitting diode) streetlights with the goal of converting all remaining streetlights to LED by 2023. This $3.5 million project will be carried out over three years and has the potential to save the City nearly $400,000 annually in electricity costs once complete.

· Investing $4.8 million to expand the Warner Park Community Center in order to eventually provide our youth with a place to come together in a safe and inclusive environment.

· Renovating Fire Station 6 on Madison's South side. The renovated station will make long overdue improvements to ensure the workplace conditions are inclusive for all Fire Department staff. The additional capacity at the station will also ensure we are able to provide fire services to Town of Madison residents following the attachment in fall 2022.


Other 2021 Executive Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Plan projects of interest to D6, downtown and east side residents (information organized alphabetically by agency):


Garver Path/Engineering: The project's scope includes 0.5 miles of new path, two bridges over Starkweather Creek (one replacement and one new bridge) and one new bridge over wetlands in OB Sherry Park. Funding in 2021 is for path construction, and matching federal funds for the project are currently secured.


West Main St improvements/Engineering: This project funds the design and construction of a bike boulevard on West Main Street on the City's isthmus. The project's scope includes a bike boulevard on West Main Street from Proudfit to Fairchild. Funding in 2022 is for design and construction is planned for 2024 with Federal Transportation Alternatives Program funding secured for the project.


S Blair St Reconstruction/Engineering: This project is for reconstructing South Blair Street from East Washington Avenue to Williamson Street and East Washington Avenue from Blair Street to Blount Street on the City's isthmus. The goal of this project is to improve the pavement quality of the 0.3 mile segment and improve transportation safety on the existing roadway. The current pavement rating of this road is 3 of 10. The project scope includes street reconstruction and a new traffic signal for the East Main Street and South Blair Street intersection. Land acquisition is planned for 2021; construction is planned for 2022.


Blair/John Nolen intersection replacement/Engineering: Construction is planned for 2022 with federal and state funding secured for this project.


Railroad Crossings and Quiet Zones/Engineering: Additional funding in 2022 is for creation of an Isthmus Quiet Zone supported by TID 36.


Reconstruction Streets/Engineering:  Projects funded include those where a full street replacement is necessary. Projects planned in 2021 include Helena, Russell, and Jenifer (among others).


Reindahl Imagination Center/Library:  Project deferred from 2021 for design to 2023 design/2024 construction.


Lake Street Garage replacement/Parking Utility: Project moved to Horizon List.


Dog Park Improvements/Parks Division: Funding for a new dog park in 2025 has been moved to the Horizon List.


Law Park Improvements/Parks Division: The goal of the project is to form a master plan including an evaluation of site constraints and the feasibility of multiple options to expand the park footprint to accommodate the potential addition of the Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse. Funding for Law Park planning was first included in the 2014 CIP as a project in the Planning budget. The recommended funding level is for the master planning process that will take place in 2024 and 2025. Construction for park improvements is included on the Horizon List.


McPike Park/Parks Division: The goal of the project is to expand McPike Park in accordance with the master plan and provide park amenities and other transportation improvements as identified in the plan. The scope of the project includes a new parking lot and bike plaza on the southeast corner of the park. Design and construction are planned for 2026.


Municipal Art Fund/Planning Division: This program focuses on the maintenance and expansion of the City's public art collection, emphasizing the equitable distribution of City investment in public art, involvement of residents, and increased opportunities for local artists of color. Planned projects for 2021 include a significant installation in the Darbo Neighborhood as recommended in the Darbo-Worthington-Starkweather Neighborhood Plan, the Thurber Park Public Art Residency, and Art in Public Places. The 2021 capital improvement plan includes $60,000 of additional funding for hours spent administering this program by the Arts Administrator.


Police Intervention Equipment/Police Department: This project funds the expansion of the Police Department's intervention equipment consistent with community recommendations and feedback to implement alternatives to resorting to deadly force. The goal of the project is to increase the immediate availability of alternate options to officers responding to critical incidents. The Madison Police Department Policy & Procedure Review Ad Hoc Committee included as one of their recommendations: "MPD should consider acquisition and training in additional well-developed less-lethal tools, such as newer options for chemical sprays and better/safer kinetic weapons." This project will fund impact projectile launchers, tasers, ammunition, and training for new instructors or armorers. User training will be handled internally with existing resources. The first phase of funding for this project was included in the 2020 Capital Budget.


Citywide Flood Mitigation/Stormwater Utility: This program is for stormwater network improvements where flooding occurs during large rain events. The goal of the program is to eliminate flooding and protect property from damage. Projects funded in this program include watershed studies and improvements based on study results. Projects planned in 2021 include: the Hawks Landing North subdivision improvements, design of pond improvements, flood mitigation on South Street, land acquisition, and flood mitigation installations that are scheduled with street reconstruction projects. Increased funding in 2022 would support flood mitigation at Winnebago/Eastwood/Amoth/Atwood and the Spring Harbor Relief Phase 2 project, as well as other smaller flood mitigation projects. The Winnebago/Eastwood/Amoth/Atwood project will be supported by incremental revenue from TID 37.


Urban Tree Initiatives/Streets Division: This program is for supporting strategies identified by the Urban Forest Task Force, which was enacted on January 27, 2019. The goal of this program is to maintain and improve the City's urban forest. Projects funded in this program are selected based on the recommendations from the Urban Forest Task Force report. Key priorities include completing the post-Emerald Ash Borer inventory and canopy analysis and developing a City of Madison Tree Technical Manual.


Vision Zero/Traffic Engineering: This program funds countermeasures that reduce the severity and frequency of crashes. This program's goal is to reduce severe crashes by seeking infrastructure improvements at locations with high crash rates. The scope of the program may include a number of initiatives such as the installation of new street signage/signals/markings, street reconstruction, or hiring a consultant to perform related work. Projects in 2021 will include traffic signal structure improvements and reduce speed signage on City streets experiencing high crash injury rates.


Bus Rapid Transit/Transportation: This program is for implementation and construction costs for the first phase of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). The goal of a BRT system is to increase the capacity of the existing Metro system while decreasing ride times. The total project budget to implement this phase of BRT is $160 million. Planning for the project is underway and will continue in 2021 with current appropriations. Funding in 2022 is for construction and equipment. Federal funds anticipated in the project are not yet secured. Annual operating costs associated with the project are estimated to be up to $2,500,000. (See page 151 of the 2021 Executive Capital budget for more details).


Complete Streets/Transportation: This project funds the second phase of the Complete Streets plan to study green infrastructure. This project is a continuation of the Complete Streets project included in the 2020 Capital Budget. The goal of this project is develop a single decision-making framework aligning several city initiatives including Complete Streets, Green Streets, Tree Canopy, and Distributed Green Infrastructure. The project scope includes a consultant study to develop the framework that can be used for allocating street right-of-way for transportation modes and green infrastructure treatments. This study will be completed in 2021.


Unit Well #15/Water Utility: This project is for evaluating options and identifying a cost-effective solution to address the east-side water supply issue caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) at Unit Well #15. The goal of the project is to prepare the City to address an emerging water contaminate of public health concern and provide an adequate water supply that achieves water quality objectives. The project's scope includes public engagement, engineering work to evaluate treatment alternatives, and potential mitigation. The project is scheduled for 2021. This project is projected to result in net operating savings of $22,000 from identifying more cost-effective treatment for PFAS contaminates.


Unit Well #8/Water Utility: This project is for reconstructing Unit Well #8 on Madison's east side. The goal of the project is to reduce iron and manganese levels via filtration upgrades and to expand capacity to a three zone well. The project's scope includes public engagement, property acquisition, and pipeline improvements. A sentinel well will be constructed in 2021; public engagement and property acquisition are planned in 2025; pipeline improvements are planned for 2026.


Unit Well #23 Abandonment/Water Utility: This project is for abandoning UW#23. The goal is to safely close an outdated and poorly performing well with poor water quality. The project's scope includes filling and sealing the municipal well in a safe manner while complying with state code. The project is scheduled for 2021. UW #23 Report March 2020


Water Mains replacement with street reconstruction/Water Utility: This program is for replacing existing water mains in conjunction with the reconstruction of roads as part of the City's Engineering-Major Streets Reconstruct Streets program. The goal of the program is to update the water infrastructure and diminish the risk of pipe failure. Projects funded in this program rehabilitate or replace existing pipes under the City's streets. Planned projects in 2021 include: Helena/Russell/Jenifer Streets, etc.



Marsha Rummel

District 6 Alder

City of Madison


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