February 5, 2022 Alder Update

I hope you are staying warm and staying well! We added a canine family member in January and he is keeping us warm...and busy! We've been enjoying the Monona Dog Park on the days when it's a bit too cold to go on walks. As a reminder, if you still need to license your pet, you can find the application here.

Below are some updates from the past month and information on things coming up that could impact your daily life in Monona. If you're wondering why you are receiving this city update, I am one of your six alders and I provide these monthly updates to help you know what is going on in your community. You can always unsubscribe by clicking the unsubscribe button at the bottom. It will be challenging for you to find all of this information on your own however. As your alder, I am here to help you navigate solutions to problems that impact your daily lives. You can reach me by email. Please note that you have six alders available to help you with issues. While I arguably make myself the most available through communication like this monthly newsletter, they are all here for you. You can reach all of your alders on the City's website under the "I want to" button.


BROADBAND TEST

The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) announced its Broadband Speed Test Initiative asking residents of Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk to complete this brief test.


With your help and data, MadRep will identify what areas are being underserved and enable us to pursue better broadband infrastructure through Wisconsin state and federal grants. With faster broadband service, our businesses will be better equipped to operate, improving economic development in the Madison area.


Please complete the speed test from your home and place of work to help us obtain the fullest picture.


BMO DEVELOPMENT-THE BLOOM UPDATE FROM PLAN COMMISSION IN JANUARY

The developers of The Bloom, the proposal slated for the BMO Harris site at the corner of Monona Drive and West Dean, came back to plan commission on 1/24. At that meeting, the developers shared their third set of revised plans for the now 89 unit market rate apartments (previously 97). The full plans can be viewed here on page 42. As many of you know, I live on the block of single family homes that backs up to this property. What is currently zoned a commercial district, would have to be re-zoned as mixed use. Please note that the most recent plans look very little like the first set or second set of plans.


The concerns about this development remained mostly the same—parking is going to be a big challenge. The street is fully parked with students during the school year and the intersections of Monona/Dean and Monona/Springhaven will be hard pressed to accommodate 100+ more cars. Other concerns were the displacement of the residents above the small businesses and those businesses that currently exist on the block—the antique mini mall, a skateboard shop inside the mall, and the bar. New construction typically goes at a rate of $22/sq. ft. roughly and these small businesses won't be able to afford it.


One other update from Plan Commission is the development proposed for the Village Lanes bowling alley site. Monona's own Slinde Realty has proposed another apartment complex at that site in two phases. The second phase would include the building that houses the post office and other small businesses. Rezoning from commercial to a community design district (CDD) was passed at the 1/24 plan commission meeting. Businesses have struggled to attract customers being just off Monona Drive and it's an issue I heard about frequently when I was running our chamber of commerce.


The project includes two four-story buildings, one with 103 apartments and the other housing 94 apartments. The project will include some workforce housing at 50% of area median income. Of all of the apartments we've built in the past 10 years, none have included affordable housing options. You can read more about this project at this link.


All recent and current projects in Monona can be viewed on the Developments Plan page.


PLEASE BE SALT WISE

There is a great resource available to help us become more salt wise. It's called Wisconsin Salt Wise. Once salt is in the environment it can never be removed. Salinization of our lakes and rivers is a serious problem. See all the salt used on this sidewalk? This is not salt wise. It only takes 1 teaspoon of salt to pollute 5 gallons of water to a level that is toxic for freshwater ecosystems.


Wisconsin Salt Wise has a free 4 hour certification program for cities and maintenance professionals. You can learn more here. If you employ a maintenance crew, be sure to mention this program to them. I've asked the City to start the certification process for us as well.


If we all work toward being more salt wise, our lakes, rivers, plants, and pets will all be thankful!


CORRECTION TO 2021 PROPERTY TAX DOCUMENT

In the spirit of transparency and accuracy, I'm posting the correct percentages going to each jurisdiction from our property tax dollar. This letter was sent out in our 2021 property tax bills and a resident (and math whiz) pointed out to me that the numbers were inaccurate and, she was right! This has been brought to the attention of the Mayor and we apologize for the inaccuracy. It was an oversight and not intentional. I did also point out to the City that photocopying money is a felony punishable by a $5,000 fine so we will not be using this system next year.


ALTERNATIVES TO SOFT PLASTIC RECYCLING

Since our local recycling center stopped accepting plastic bags, I've been searching for places to take these types of plastics near me. I just read in the Herald Independent that the McFarland Lions Club is kicking off a six month recycling program in hopes of collecting 500 pounds of soft plastics.


Plastics need to be clean and no hard plastics are accepted. Items with numbers 2 & 4 are accepted. Acceptable plastics include air pillows used in shipping, grocery bags, bread bags, bubble wrap, newspaper sleeves, reclosable plastic bags, plastic film wraps, cereal bags, ice bags, salt bags, produce bags for starters.


The photo is the start of my collection and it's in a plastic bag of dog treats hence the needy look on my pup's face. Materials can be dropped off at McFarland Municipal Center, McFarland Library, McFarland Pick N' Save, and One Community Bank in McFarland. Thanks McFarland Lions Club!


SPRING 2022 CITY COUNCIL RACE

You have probably read by now that I will NOT be a candidate for reelection to Monona City Council in 2022. It has been such a privilege serving my community as an elected official and it has been one of the biggest honors of my life.


While I’m stepping aside for this cycle, please know that I am not done with public service. I need some time off to re-energize and to be a mother to my amazing children (and our cute new dog). And yes, my newsletters will end when my term ends. But you'll still have six other alders you can rely on for information.


I will be kicking off a capital campaign for Free Bikes 4 Kidz Madison in 2022 in our quest to find our forever home. This organization is doing such impactful work and it is worthy of me dedicating more time to its success. This wasn’t an easy decision but it’s the right decision for me and my family.


I look forward to finishing up my term in 2022 by continuing to bring forward common sense, integrity, honesty, and fairness. Thank you all for your support along this journey!

Yours in service,

Kristie Goforth, Alder for City of Monona

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You may or may not know that we have a contested race with our Dane County Board of Supervisors District 24. People have been asking me who I'm supporting in the race and I am supporting the newcomer, Clint Keaveny. I am grateful to Clint for his work protecting our city with a grassroots campaign that prevented the hiring of a police officer that had a history of excessive use of force complaints. Clint has proven that he is ambitious, can mobilize others to take action, provides leadership, and can get things done. Like me, Clint wasn't born on third base and will work hard to represent those of us who are often left unrepresented.

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