Alder Steve King
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210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
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Hello District 7 Residents:
I wanted to share a few important updates on issues in the City, and in particular, our area. We now have the ability to update our own website area, and to push out information via e-mail when updates are posted. If you haven't before, please take a moment and sign up for District 7 updates through the link on my home page. It's definitely the most efficient and economical way for me to share information with you.
The Police Department's webpage continues to be a great place for information. This past year, the area newsletters were replaced by a more timely "Blotter" feature which you can easily sign up for to receive updates. Check out the West District's page to sign up for regular updates. If you were already signed up to receive the newsletter, you were automatically added to the blotter updates list.
Fortunately this past year was much quieter in our area. Overall, statistics indicated that crime levels fell in most categories, but there were still more than a handful of burglaries.
Please lock your outside doors at all times. And lock interior doors that lead to your garage. If at all possible, install motion detector lights, particularly at the sides and rear of your house. Buy energy efficient lights and keep them on all night around your garage. And of course, always lock cars and close all doors. I know this sounds simplistic and common sense, but in many of the burglaries these simple measures would have helped to prevent crime.
Last but not least, know your neighbors and keep an eye out for each other. If you see someone's paper out for more than a couple of days, pick it up for them. If you ever see anything even remotely suspicious, report it immediately. The police non-emergency number is 266-4948.
The final two of four apartment buildings being constructed across from Copp's will be nearing completion in early 2014. Another larger apartment building is currently beginning construction on Fairhaven just off of Maple Grove Drive. I have not had any other inquiries for the corner of Maple Grove and PD/McKee Rd. where Livesey is the developer.
At the edge of our district, at Fitchburg's Orchard Pointe development, more mixed use space is being added in frontage to the SuperTarget along with a large HyVee store which will come online in Spring.
Stay tuned to the news for announcements of a number of significant development projects within the City over the coming year. The economy has definitely turned a corner. Let's hope it stays that way.
My update here remains unchanged.
The reconstruction/resurfacing of Highway PD to the west of Maple Grove is still scheduled for 2017. I am pursuing having a traffic light installed at the intersection of Muir Field, Country Grove and PD. I don't think it can wait until 2017.
Many people have inquired about installing signalized arrows for the North/South direction at the intersection of PD and Maple Grove. For now, there is not room under its current configuration to allow for this. When and if a project comes forward at that intersection, it may be possible for some realignment to make this possible. I'll keep trying.
You didn't hear much about the budget this year because it was very noncontroversial. Since we are subject to rather strict levy limits, there were few discretionary items added to the budget. The average increase on a Madison home (due to the City's share) is about $31 per year. As you may have noted on your property tax bill, increases from other entities, including the schools and County, were higher.
Here are a few budget highlights:
- The City's yard waste collection sites, including the South Point site, will continue to operate under current year hours.
- Renovations to Monona Terrace per its scheduled plan
- A domestic violence partnership program between the police and Domestic Abuse Intervention Services
- $5,387,527 for 10 major snowplowing events
- $1,600,000 for the Overture Center – lower than previously promised, but agreed to by all parties
- $6,708,172 in community development services, including senior services, youth programs, neighborhood centers, economic development and investments in contracted programs that serve people and neighborhoods in need. A portion of this overall allotment is a study to review and recommend how the city's process for investing in people and neighborhoods can be improved to get the best bang for our bucks.
- $150,000 for planning for a biodigestor, allowing processing instead of landfilling for organic waste (food scraps, yard and pet waste, etc.) turning it into biogas to power electric generators. NOTE: part of District 7 is in the pilot area and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
- Replacement of some aging voting machines
- $320,000 for emerald ash borer management (see update below)
- $300,000 to plan and prepare for up to 100 units of very low cost permanent housing for single people in an effort to address the growing shortage of affordable housing in Madison
Given new State laws, the only way we can grow our revenues is by expanding our tax base through new development and redevelopment. This means we'll have to really concentrate on making the City more competitive for development projects.
The Emerald Ash Borer has arrived. Sigh. Fortunately the City has been planning for years and has a comprehensive plan developed and underway. The first part begins this winter: Ash trees that are under power lines or in poor condition will be removed, beginning on the north side where the EAB was discovered.
The City has produced a lot of helpful materials for homeowners. An Emerald Ash Borer toolkit for homeowners from the Madison Parks Forestry Section is here.
The City's website has undergone a significant redesign with some added features and better accessibilty from mobile devices. "Report a Problem" remains one of the most valuable ways to contact the City for non-emergency concerns and information.