Wednesday, April 15, 2020 - 4:42pm

A Message from Mayor Rhodes-Conway

While we work together to stay healthy and support each other, I wanted to share that there are many City services and work continuing. We have hundreds of employees deployed in the field performing essential services. Hundreds more are teleworking to keep the business of the city going.
Of course you know that your refuse is collected weekly, good clean water comes out of your taps, and the storm drains take the rain away. But did you know that our City has installed its first EV solar charging station? The unit is downtown at the Brayton Lot at 1 South Butler Street. For years to come we will power the City’s electric cars from the sun’s rays, the most environmentally sustainable source available.

I am proud that Madison is leading Wisconsin as the first city in the state to operate a solar charging station. This effort is one of many that will help us reach a goal to achieve 100% carbon neutral operations by 2030. Madison currently operates over 30 electric vehicles of different types. Later this year we plan to receive our first electric medium-and heavy-duty trucks as well as electric buses. As a Metro rider, I am really excited to commute on one of those.

And Streets Division crews started collection brush and yard waste on April 6. When crews are in your neighborhood, if you decide to approach one of the workers, please remember to maintain our social solidarity and keep 6 feet distance between yourself and the workers collecting this material.

Keeping your distance is important not only to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but also for everyone’s physical safety. Streets Division folks are feeding brush into wood chippers, and maneuvering vehicles to push leaves into collection trucks, and it can be dangerous if everyone isn’t careful and attentive.

Street sweepers are also out on residential streets, as we continue to work to keep our winter mix of garbage, sand and leaves out of our lakes.

Answers to most yard waste and brush collection questions, including when to set this material out so it will be picked up, can be found on their websites. For yard waste questions, go to www.cityofmadison.com/yardwaste. And for brush questions, go to www.cityofmadison.com/brushcollection.

Despite the state parks being closed, Madison Parks remain open for people to walk, jog and connect with nature! Parks staff are working to keep them safe, clean and open for visitors. Spring clean-up and trash collection in parks is ongoing and soon staff will commence mowing operations. Now that dogs are allowed in the majority of the parks in the system, the Rangers are working to educate owners on proper park etiquette. Golf staff are maintaining the courses so they are in the best possible condition for opening. The planting season has begun! Olbrich Gardens is preparing the gardens for the coming growing season, spring flowers will be installed at on State Street in the coming days and tree planting has started in the parks. Be sure to get out and enjoy your local park, just be sure to play it safe and stay off the playgrounds and sport courts and honor physical distancing.

I wanted to add a shout-out to the creative parks staff as they have developed a new technique for planting trees while still maintaining social distances and not sharing tools.
Worker #1 loads the trees for delivery. All trees this spring in Parks are either bare root trees that can be loaded by hand or potted trees that can be loaded with one person using a toolcat and another person unloading using social distancing. The first worker digs the hole on location using the toolcat equipped with an auger.
Worker #2 plants the tree and compacts the ground surrounding the tree. Bare root and potted trees are manageable by one person. And worker #3 waters the tree, mulches around the roots and stakes the tree. Thanks for your ingenuity!

Life goes on, and even during a pandemic your city is working for you, while keeping our workers safe. Thanks for doing your part by staying home, washing your hands, and supporting our community.

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COVID-19