Updated: Nov 30, 2021
Happy Halloween! Can you believe that we'll have nice weather for the Halloween weekend?! Finally, something goes right in 2021. ;) I hope your are enjoying the fall in Monona. I recommend a walk through Rose Lawn Cemetery if you're a tree nut like me. The fall colors are outstanding!
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 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 at email@example.com.
SOUTH WINNEQUAH ROAD REDESIGN - MEETING ON 11/1 at 6pm
There's been an important change regarding the south Winnequah Road redesign meeting schedule. If you've been following along, City Council was set to discuss Option 4, the approved design from the Public Works Committee which includes the 10' wide multi use path on the west side of the street at our 7pm, November 1 council meeting. That has now been pulled off the agenda and has been placed in a Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting at 6pm on Monday, November 1. There is no opportunity for public comment at the COW meeting but I do hope you'll still attend to hear the discussion. The meeting will be available in person at the library or on Zoom.
Following that COW meeting, council will have our regularly scheduled meeting at 7pm. You can make public appearances at this meeting but it seems that the majority of the discussion will occur at the 6pm meeting since we are discussing the associated costs with the redesign.
I have made a budget amendment to scale the project back to removing the bump outs in 2022 for a cost of $150K. My amendment would allow us to do more planning and research as well as taking an incremental approach to see what impacts this has on the roadway before we spend $1 million or more. As your alder, I'm dedicated to seeing that we are fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars and I don't think we have all of the costs associated with adding a multi use path OR a sidewalk. I think we should invest in some signage that would help slow cars down since speeding has been cited as our number one challenge with this roadway. I want to see us spend money in the best way possible. We had an incredibly difficult budget season due to being so close to the levy limit. We have the $6.6 million purchase of San Damiano on our shoulders as well as the estimated $15-20 million public safety building.
If City Staff will be maintaining the sidewalk or path, I need to know the associated costs. Removing trees could create environmental issues with flooding and that also has me concerned. Slowing the process down would give us time to conduct a water study because, the water that the trees absorb every day has to go somewhere. I want to know where it will go so I can make the best decisions. We are in a climate crisis and we should be doing everything we can to not contribute to it. Those of you who know me well know my connection and commitment to the environment. As an Indigenous woman, this connection runs deep for me. We should be exploring options that do not include removing trees and not widening the roadway. It can be done we just need to be open to other ideas and more planning.
I also struggle with the path or sidewalk ending at Maywood road and the users having to figure out what to do there. We know that people crossing the street is what creates the least safe environment for ped/bike users. This is the primary place where conflicts arise. If we stop rushing this through, we can look at the corridor more holistically and devise a plan that is safer for all users. Our public works director has confirmed that the roadway can last up to two years quite easily so we do not need to rush this project through.
You might think it's strange that I keep referring to a "sidewalk." That is because you'll see in the budget that the TIF funding for the sidewalk has been added back in. Seeing that council has been directed to vote on the recommended Option 4 multi use path, I find it strange that the sidewalk funding is back in the budget but it is back in there. Hopefully this will become clear at the 6pm meeting on Monday.
MONONA FIRE DEPARTMENT & MONONA POLICE DEPARTMENT TOURS
The City of Monona is currently planning for a new Public Safety Building and you are invited to tour the existing facilities so you can understand the challenges we face. The Monona Police and Fire/EMS departments have scheduled open houses at 5211 Schluter Road from 5-7pm on Tuesday, November 2 and Tuesday, November 9. These events are designed to provide the community an opportunity to tour the current facilities and learn more about why a new building is needed.
MONONA EXPRESS LOOP SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE
Due to a shortage of bus drivers, Monona Express afternoon Loops 1 and 3 have not been run since September 27. Only Monona Express afternoon Loops 2 and 4 will run until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and will keep you updated. First Transit has still not filled the driver position so we are trying to find other workarounds.
NEW DEVELOPMENTS COMING BACK TO PLAN COMMISSION IN NOVEMBER
The BMO Harris development will be coming back to plan commission on 11/22 at 7pm. At that meeting, they will have fine tuned their development. You may have heard that Monona will be getting a Chipotle at the former Old National Bank building at the corner of Monona Drive and Broadway. That development will be on the November 8 agenda. Meetings are available in person or virtually. Agendas can be found here.
ADOPT A STORM DRAIN - PROTECT LAKE MONONA FROM INCREASED PHOSPHORUS
It's the time of year when we ask you to consider adopting a storm drain in your neighborhood. Storm drains are the open grates found along the edges of our streets and in some of our local parkways. These storm drains are designed to collect storm water and direct it to underground storm sewers. The storm sewers then direct the storm water to local retention and detention ponds, or local streams. Any pollution or debris that goes down a storm drain winds up entering these same waterways. Once these leaves become wet from rain they begin to break down and release phosphorus. This phosphorus takes two forms, solid and dissolved. Dissolved phosphorus has been proven to be the most significant contributor to algae blooms in our local waterways. Once this phosphorus is dissolved it is very difficult to nearly impossible to remove from the water. One pound of dissolved or physical phosphorus is enough to feed 500 wet pounds of algae.
How does one adopt a storm drain?
Please email Brad Bruun, the City of Monona Public Works Project Coordinator and GIS Specialist. Take a look at this map to find the storm drain closest to you. Green dots mean the drain has been adopted and red dots mean that storm drain needs to be adopted.
FREE BIKES 4 KIDZ BIKE DONATION DRIVE IN MONONA ON SAT., NOV. 6, 10-2pm!
My day job is ramping up to give away 2,000 bicycles to those in need in spring 2022. In order to make that happen, we have to have bicycles donated to FB4K. We'll refurbish them over the winter so we can give them away in the spring.
Monona Fire Department and Monona Police Department will be hosting our donation station in the parking area in front of the fire truck garage on Nichols Road just east of the Community Center on Saturday, November 6 between 10am-2pm. If you have unused bicycles, we will make sure they go to someone who would love to have one but cannot afford one. All sizes and styles are needed. We can't accept used helmets unfortunately but we also accept bike parts and bike racks! Thank you for your consideration!
RECEIVING THE SUSTAIN DANE LIVE FORWARD AWARD ON NOVEMBER 18
I am so honored to have been one of the 18 nominees for the Sustain Dane 2021 Live Forward award. Four nominees were selected through a vote and myself along with Oscar Mireles, Tara Wilhemi, and Elena Terry were selected. We will be awarded at Monona Terrace Convention Center on November 18. The Live Forward Awards recognize local changemakers and inclusive leaders who are accelerating sustainability and advancing community well-being. Shout out to Ivo Rosendaal of Monona who was also one of the 18 nominees. And thank you to those who voted for me and took notice of my commitment to sustainability and community well-being.