Discussions were a little over 2 hours, including public testimony. 17 amendments. And the capital budget is done now until November. Hope you didn’t blink, it’s pretty much over. The most time was spend on the (lack of) a daytime resource center for the homeless – supported by advocates and the business community and proposed by Alder Palm. And of course, the amendment failed due to the city/county struggle over who pays.
REGULAR BOARD OF ESTIMATES MEETING
All items were passed except items 2, 5 and 11. 10 is a substitute resolution.
Item 2 – Authorizing the execution of a Purchase and Sale Agreement between the City of Madison and Mount Olive Evangelical Lutheran Church for the purchase of property located at 4018 Mineral Point Road for the location of a Midtown police station and an amendment to the 2013 Capital Budget to provide $30,000 for earnest money and buyer’s contingencies.
The police explain this would relieve pressure on South, West and Central policing districts. West has a large area to cover, South will be dealing with annexation and Central is very popular for events and activities, Badger Football games etc. Badger football games would go to Midtown. Verveer says this is moving quickly, he had no idea we had prime real estate in mind, he asks when construction would take place. Mayor says it wouldn’t happen for several years. Mayor says they thought they were going to put it by Hilldale/Hill Farm but several agencies came up with Mt. Olive. They are looking at some interim community use. Doesn’t want people to get their hopes up, there is mold in the building and it might cost too much to use as an interim use. Verveer asks if construction would happen in the next 5 years. Mayor says it is possible, but they thought best not to put a time in yet. Shiva Bidar-Sielaff says the Hoyt area plan has been making its way through the committees and she says that they wanted and institutional use so they will be happy with that. She says she has 4 policing districts in her aldermanic district, South, West, Central and UW – plus Shorewood. She says that is challenging. She is looking forward to having more continuity to serve the near west area. Alder Schmidt is also looking forward to it. DeMarb says that a lot of people thought this was a good use, who studies this, if this is like libraries. Mayor says that he feels better about recommending a police station there than deciding where a library goes, he has a better understanding of policing activities than children and family needs for a library. That is more complicated. Police say this has been in and out of the capital budget, the need about 2 acres and its not like they have a lot of options. This is an ideal location.
Item 5 – SUBSTITUTE: Authorizing the Mayor and City Clerk to execute a loan agreement with Movin’ Out, Inc. (MOI) for up to $660,000 in Housing Development Reserve and Affordable Housing Trust Funds for the development of 21 CDD-assisted affordable rental units at the Royster Clark site
Denise DeMarb asks if loans from the Affordable Housing Trust funds are ever grants or a loan that is forgiven. Will this loan be forgiven. Jim O’Keefe says that it will be a loan. She asks if the loans are ever forgiven, or part of it. O’Keefe says forgivable loans have not been offered. She asks if they could be? He says they could be, they just haven’t been so far. Move’ Out, Dave Porterfield was there available to answer questions.
Susan Schmidt from DMI was there on amendment 4 about for upper State St. Allen Barkoff wants Garver Feedmill for tiny houses. Rosemary Lee talks about the Garver Feedmill. Myself and Heidi Wegleitner and then Susan Schmidt spoke in favor of the day center – all speaking to the cost savings in emergency services, social services and the business community benefits. John Hendrick, the county board chair also registered in support. The spent some time asking Supervisor Wegleitner questions and I will put that discussion with amendment 16 when I get to it.
Eastside Libraries Planning – Alder Palm
Add $100,000 in 2014 for planning and programming resources for establishing a comprehensive plan in the deployment of library services for Madison’s eastside in conjunction with the identified capital projects of the Pinney relocation, the Hawthorne relocation, a Northeast Library, and Grandview Commons. Resources would include marketing and survey tools, community analysis with assistance in gathering and compiling information, organization and execution of public forums plus the compiling of the research into a final comprehensive plan
Larry Palm says this is important to him, he wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for four different proposals coming forward from the Eastside at the same time. If it were Southwest, Northeast and West it would not make sense, but because they are all on the east side he thought it was important to engage alders and residents in a planning process to figure out we don’t really have the skills to figure out how to plan it – the staff do an excellent job doing it, give them some resources. 2014 is the year to come up with a detailed comprehensive plan to figure it out – what do we do for those who don’t have services, what services are needed, who are they serving. He says the proposed Pinney Library will encompass Hawthorne library so then what do you do with that. He wants to plan this instead of making choices where we are forced to do something because of what we decided 3 years ago. And this could save us money.
Joe Clausius asks library staff (two people I have never seen) about the scoring criteria, haven’t you already done an internal study, if that is so, where does this amendment fit in, would it be necessary. The many says that it could be helpful if it was facilitation of the process. There are a lot of competing interest so bringing neighborhoods together, public meetings and forums would be good, but the tax staff resources and time to arrange. He was through the process of the State St. renovations and Bert (Stitt) was really helpful to bring us together, not to tell us what we know, but to reconcile the competing needs, because our resources are limited. Clausius says he is skeptical, he says it will result in busing people to lobby for their site. He says that they have had a number of public meetings already. Staff says they probably will anyways, whether staff gets some help or not. He thinks public forums would be helpful, getting the word out, getting the areas staged, site planning criteria publicized. We have a really good idea about where the branches need to go, we don’t need consultants for that.
Mike Verveer says that the value of the money seems to be public facilitation, he thought he State St. process was really helpful, lots of merchants had all kinds of ideas about what it should be. That would be the biggest tax on staff time, publicizing the meetings, getting the word out about what they are doing, getting on line information available. He could see a benefit to that. Verveer asks if the dollar amount is right. He says that if that is what the RFP calls for they will make sure to get the right resources. Verveer asks if it might be more than they need. He says it could be, but considering the square footage and the number of patrons involved it might be the right amount. Verveer asks about the board president and Library Director not being enthusiastic about this amendment at first but they massaged the amendment and helped with the drafting to make it more helpful. Can you speak to that? He says that he wasn’t thrilled at first if it was to do the work of the site planning committee, they did a lot of work, they feel they have a good handle on where they need to be, but he believe that the facilitation would be helpful. They just got a brief taste of the Grandview Commons folks and the process of getting consensus could be overwhelming for library staff.
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff asks how this is a capital budget item, should be put all studies into planning because eventually something gets built. David Schmiedicke says that the approach that has been taken is if the study will result in a capital project of some sort, they would capitalize the cost through the Capital Budget – this is about constructing a library.
Palm says that when he says consultant, he means that we pay someone to consult, he didn’t know there was such a strong reaction against some of the library planners that are out there in the world, ans so his term consultant was much broader, which did include people to help us engage with community. We do that often. The library director did help with the language. We are currently working on South Madison, Meadowridge which was a surprise gift from last year and Central and he believes that they should be kind of generous with some assistance because they have been running sort of on 110% for a number of years. That is one of the benefits of taking a break this year. He thinks that if there is going to be a pivot, resources will be useful for them. He also had a question about if this was a capital amendment or not, there were several other options on the table, but they were closer to operating funds. Similar to the planning for Meadowridge, unlike other processes, Meadowridge had a lot of public input, as did Central Library which was bigger, but the notion that we are engaging more and more with constituents and library users is really important to us, our residents, the east side and the city of Madison and the chance to do that will only improve the system that we offer.
Masha Rummel asks if this doesn’t pass, what is the alternative. Staff says that this would be a strictly internal process. He says they would like to see an on-line development of the maps, it would avoid cutting some corners, it would make it more easily understood, it could be done without it. But they could say get the GIS maps generated, transfer it to on-line materials, get the room set up for the meeting, get the invitations out, that could be very helpful.
Denise DeMarb says that she is hoping for more than just someone to set up the meetings, she is not sure if the branch library comes first or the bike path, but they need both. She wants to clarify that the Southside, Southcentral have been worked on, but not Southeast. She says this money is very important, we just went to the placemaking conference this afternoon and we need to be more transparent than city departments and staff can do.
Clausius asks Palm about the 4 sites, in the foreseeable future there is no way we are going to build 4 $5 -6M libraries in a 10 year period, which tells him that if they do the study, some people will be happy, others will not be happy. Would you be prepared to forward any recommendations made.
Palm says South is Goodman, so that is why he used that term. Palm says that the Library Directors first question was about if we wanted to hire a consultant to have some official report that everyone would agree on, he says no, the data and facts should speak for themselves whether we have a highfalutin consultant or our staff do it, it should be obvious to most that it is the right outcome, that is what they hope to find and why they ask the questions. He doesn’t know what the executive will put in a future budget, it could be 2 or 4 libraries and what we need is data to guide us no matter what it is. He goal is to promote library branches and services and they will go for the most widely supportable model, more people, more branches, more access, more engagement, more learning. It is the council that puts the check on library stuff and he hopes it provides data for the council to make logical and appropriate decisions, but this is a political body that makes decisions based on other factors. At the end of the day, the council needs to make tougher choices, the recommendations should come from data that should not be disputable. Through a deliberative planning process we will make better decisions.
DeMarb comments that the amendment says it is for “comprehensive plan in the deployment of library services for Madison’s eastside” She hopes the study, the consultants would look at how to bring the services to people and there might be more than one way to slice this. We want to get the most services to the most people in the most affordable way and lets not pretend we know what the answer is before we get started.
Mark Clear says that he appreciates Palm’s optimism that there will be a rainbow colored result from this process that everyone would be happy with, other than the most obvious answer of Oprah handing out libraries to everyone, realistically that will be the outcome or it will be something everyone is happy with and then you will have the same challenges of having the discussion before the library board and the council as we would have otherwise and it seems to him that they could have an internally driven process that is less expensive and probably will result in the same outcome.
Palm votes aye, Subeck votes no. Needs a show of hands. Chair is uncertain. They vote again. I can’t see the hands, the motion carries.
passes on unanimous voice vote
place on file – passes
Verveer says there are staff from IT and police. He says he asked many questions a few weeks ago, simply put he has the detail of where the money will be spent but the instent is to supplant the $25K that is in the capital budget for surveillance cameras so in 2014 is would be $78,000. This year we have $100,000 and it simply isn’t enough, some of the money is new camera locations that they weren’t able to get to because of the issues of upper State St. and Capital Square and adding cameras in those areas. He says the $53,000 is the amount of the premium and that was what was added here. We all know that the mayor had a target of $4M and this was the actual $4M plus $53,000. We were really close on that. This would take care of the entire premium amount. He feels really strongly that the cameras have been valuable in the tool chest.
Subeck asks about open records requests and privacy issues and her recollection was that these were subject to open records but there might be some restrictions. Sue Williams and Carl Gloede says that they keep the data for 14 days and then it is written over. If something is flagged for an open records request for evidence it is moved and kept indefinitely. Subeck asks about privacy issues about stalking victims or domestic abuse victims, how do you address that? Williams says the requester doesn’t have to tell them the reason of the request but they do try to look at these carefully, they do have internal policies about how employees access it but if there is any question at all they ask the city attorney. Subeck asks if they know how often video from the street cameras is requested. Williams says it is not real often but it tends to be after a high profile crime. Gloede says that it is after a high profile incident, a crime . . . Mayor says shots fired on University Ave . . . traffic crashes as well. Subeck asks about outside of incidents, Williams says not often.
Motion passes – I think unanimous voice vote.
passes without discussion
Ledell Zellers says this is to help the Johnson St. businesses, it could be planned in 2014 but in talking to Rob Phillips they indicated that they would not have time to do it in 2014, so they were looking at 2015 and 2016 and they were in the placemaking conference today and there is a lot of room to make E. Johnson more vital and to make it worth the draw and ambiance of Willy St. or Monroe St. so improving the Streetscape tremendously. It would use the half-mile rule, it would have to be approved by the joint review board, given the current obligations and cash flow they could do this without extending the life of the TID. There is no guarantee, but that is her preference. The blocks are the 800 and 900 blocks – she describes the businesses there – it is an arterial street. Arterials streets are targeted for this because they impact they have the greatest impact on the impression visitors and residents have about our city. It will also allow for real trees to be planted.
Clear says that he likes undergrounding and it provides great aesthetics, but it is so expensive and it doesn’t provide the kind of return on investment on the increased property value in the area to justify it as a TID expense and it would be hard to make the argument to the TIF Review Board that they should help pay for it. He wants to do undergrounding any where they can, he doesn’t know how they afford it, he tried to get it on University Ave, but it would have been preposterously expensive. He thinks the ATC line along the beltline is an abomination but we couldn’t do it and its too bad, but for the amount of money we are talking about there is so much more we could do.
Ahrens says that at the Board of Public Works only one person spoke against the underground in the 100 – 700 blocks, so it might be expensive, but the landlords and property owners found it palatable and acceptable to do.
Palm says he usually is against spending this kind of money, but if there is TIF money he will support it.
Bidar-Sielaff says everyone wants undergrounds, people don’t speak against it, but looking at what we are asking our tax payers to do and the TIF discussions and asking other jurisdictions to pay for this, I understand that it looks like free money, but a million dollars for two blocks, when I went back to my neighbors and told them they said that they really loved it, but they couldn’t see spending that much money even tho she agrees it beautifies the area. She says they should have a city wide process for undergrounding, but I totally understand why alder Zellers is doing this, that is what we do, but she would like to see a citywide plan. She won’t be supporting it when she gets to vote on it.
Palm says that he has to make comment about “free money”. He says you can’t make it to BOE without understanding the complex economic scenarios behind TIF and TIF funding so he doesn’t think that anyone on the Board of Estimates thinks that. He says this had funding and areas to be used. I find it interesting that we are projecting two reasons why we should vote against it. A group that is designed to make these decisions won’t support it, so if we want to do it and they say no, but don’t not do it if you thing they are not going to support it. And second someone’s community residents, business owners etc don’t support it. He says this might not be on the top of people’s minds, we are simply putting this in future years and the TIF board could say not, residents could change their minds, those are very likely scenarios we are only guessing at now. He supports making changes to future SIP to allow it.
Clausius says that he wants to add to the alders that mentioned the outrageous expense for two blocks, and as Alder Plam said if there was not TIF money he would be dead set against it. He says they might come up with the same thing on Stoughton Rd and he would be supporting that.
Verveer says that he wanted to be clear about it being a half million per block and a million dollars per block, he wants to make sure the amendment is worded correctly, its a total of two million dollars, one million dollars a year, is that woreed correctly. He gets that clarified. Zellers says that might be a little bit high, it was $3M for 4 blocks, so it might be a little higher than needed. They want staff to clarify.
Rummel asks if they can do this during the Johnson St. construction?
Rob Phillips says that the appropriate amount for the two blocks that it was a million dollars per block which he confesses seems a bit high to him. He says that the issue is more with MG&E staff than ours, there isn’t much work for Engineering staff, conduit would be placed in the project and the actual undergrounding would take place at a later time, so the conduit would be there and actual wiring and boxes would come in with the undergrounding project.
Mayor Paul Soglin says he is not a big fan of the undergrounding when we talk about the higher equity needs in the community. You can take the money out of the district and unless we are successful in getting the legislature to change the statute we can’t spend it on any public building, given that we have to do libraries, police stations and fire stations that would be his highest priority. What he would choose is that instead of spending money on undergrounds, but to go to county and schools and say we have this money that might have gone for undergrounding, if we close the district early, would you be agreeable to funding the needed neighborhood center in alderwoman Subeck’s district, in Brentwood, the public library in a neighborhood, at that point once it is returned, it can be spent anywhere on anything. Given the tremendous social consciousness of the county board (laughter from Subeck and Verveer and others, smirk from Mayor) and given that the school district – he stops for the laughter and says he was sincere about that with a huge smile on his face – and given the school district desire to collaborate with us on on out of school time, this would work in regard to libraries and neighborhood centers, he thinks they would get buy in, at least with the school district. So, this conversation has prompted that and they will get to a discussion about that this week with the other bodies.
Palm says this is in future years and you get to make the decision, what is your . . . Mayor says don’t put it all on the executive, clearly the council has a significant impact, you haven’t asked me how many I would have supported if it was a tied vote. Palm says it is in the future . . . Mayor says he can see it being in the future. Palm says should we put it in, and then . . . Mayor says these amendments are all a push-pull routine. Mayor puts them in the out years in a logical progression in regards to the ability to fund and deal with debt service and then the board and the council moves them up and then the mayor moves them back out and one of two things happen, they get pushed down to another amount or end up being budgeted. Neither you nor I can predict which project will occur in which year.
DeMarb says she will vote for this, not because undergrounding is more important than after school, but it is beautiful. We don’t know what is happening, we don’t know if those other things are going to come true and there is TID money available so she will vote in favor.
Motion passes, I didn’t hear any nos.
passes no discussion
Rummel says that after the push-pull comment, she says she keeps getting pushed about train horns so she is going to push the Mayor in the budget because at the last BOE meeting the Engineer says that they only put it in the TIF districts, this is a placeholder, Wisconsin Southern is increasing the freight busienss and there are more and more people sleepign by the tracks and if we can increase this her constituents will thank you.
passes seemingly unanimous
passes unanimously without discussion
Palm asks what the plan is. Sue Ellingson says Monroe St. was supposed to be done in 2012, instead of moving the whole thing from 2016 to 2017 it is split into two sections, 2016 is the uphill end and 2017 is the downhill end but that is where all the concern is about pedestrian crossings and she wants to have the discussion about how to have it be more pedestrian, more green and there are a lot of determined people live here. The updhill has worse pavement condition but she wants to see something get started on the downhill part.
Verveer asks about TID 33 being a potential funding source but ti has been in the red, what is the long term outlook for that if this is TID eligible. Ellingson asks if that is the Monroe Commons. Ellingson says that it is down further, in 2016 that block would be covered. She is asking for 2015 and 2016 to get started. Schmiedicke says that the estimate for 2014 there is $543,000 and the TID is $545,000 a year, so it could recover by 2015 or 2016 and be closed. They would have to look at the project budget.
DeMarb asks about the uphill and downhill, east and west. You had it 2016 and 2017 but 2017 is moving to 2015, you must have set it up that way, if we move that does it mess with that at all. Phillips says no, he says the section closer to Regent St. a little worse, but it doesn’t matter.
Palm has a substitute to modify the second sentence to “planned improvements for 2014 include a new dog park on the west side as well as a potential dog park on the north AND east sides of the city.”
Subeck asks if the dollar amount doesn’t change but they are adding a dog park, how is that going to happen?
Mayor says smaller dog parks, cheaper grass, uglier fence.
Anita Weiers says that the east and north would probably not be ready to go but when she talked to Alder Cnare she felt more comfortable with her park being mentioned. The dog park fund is kind of flush right now, but won’t be for long according to staff.
Clausius asks for parks staff to come up.
Mayor says that this amendment brings the capital budget into conformity with reality. Secondly, the number 1.825M is the estimate of tearing everything down and clearing it out, that is the number we are willing to spend to rehabilitate the building.
Clausius says that he wants to recap the last parks meeting where they got the study and that they wanted to rehab but the costs were $4.5M, it was an all or nothing deal. The demolition costs were $1.3M. They agreed to take no action but might go out for future RFPs. Eric Knapp says that they are working with staff to come back to Parks Commission to come back with more information, that isn’t impacted by the budget. This would just commit the money, the total rehab costs are still what they are but they would put it out to RFP or would have to allocate more money. Clausius asks if this commits them to anything, Knapp says their view is that they are working with staff to present the options that an RFP would address – particularly the funding questions.
Rummel says there was no private match at the last BOE, it was an error, but she did change the narrative after the last Parks meeting, it might just stabilize the building, but an RFP might have someone else do that. We will hear back from staff for more ideas.
Ellingson asks if we expect something to happen this year. Mayor says possibly next year, this is next year’s budget. She asks if it will fall down first? The joke about how they have been trying for years. (Sadly, I think you have all heard that sometimes there is a little truth in the jokes people make.)
passes no discussion
Clausius says he was asked to insert soem language from engineering, it is just housekeeping.
passes no discussion
Clausius says this is a 20 – 25 year project and when it does happen it will have to be broken into sections like E. Washington, he says that the signature piece happens to be in his and Alder Ahrens district, there is a rerouting of Hwy 51, that would impact the four business corners and they suddenly realized it is up to the city to talk to the homeowners and businesses about purchasing businesses, dead ending streets and making cul de sacs and we desperately want to save and preserve a 100 year old business that wants to stay where they are, that is a little iffy. The DOT said they would fund half of the study, they will meet with home and business owners and see what they need.
Anita Weier says this is an important street and she supports it.
Taken out of order, Palm asks to be added as a cosponsor, passes without discussion
Quesitons of the Public – Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner done earlier in the meeting
Verveer asks for an update on where they are with the day center with siting a facility. He knows that there might not be a day center, but there is a plan B, can you elaborate on that. (It should be noted that Supervisor Wegleitner is appearing with her 3.5 week old son Lincoln.) Weglietner says that there was an rfp issues for the site and the operations. They didn’t have to rfp but they thought it would be helpful to put the rfp out to see if they could find some sites. The first rfp both the sites were rejected because they were not in the downtown area, then the Homeless Issues Committee expanded the area as long as it was on a well served by bus. She says only one proposal came in which was the MARC building. They are still pursuing things outside the rfp process, the site may not be available til March or later. (Lynn Green, Director of Dane County Human Services told the Health and Human Needs Committee that it would be June.) She says the MARC location on LIen Road has transportation issues because of its location far from downtown. She says there was $30,000 that was available for operations and the county board made another $30,000 available that can be allocated, that is being proposed to have some bridge services until we have a day center. They are looking at providing $30,000 for Bethel to expand to 5 days a week, there is money for Shine608 and a Porchlight van to connect people to services downtown. Health and Human Needs deferred action til Homeless Issues Committee could advise on it, and there was some talk in the homeless community that there was better ways that money could be spent to address more pressing needs. The county is perusing parallel goals knowing that they won’t have something in place for Nov. 1st and they will try to expand day programming services so people have a place to go and can access things like laundry and showers and transportation. Verveer says that from his perspective and the city commended the staff of the day resource center for their excellent services, did you consider that site again or is it not available. Wegleitner says that there was a promise made by the county executive that they would not return to that site, there was some opposition by the Rainbow Project, the resolution passed for the site said the lease would not renew. Politically that would not be very feasible at this point. Verveer asks if nothing is feasible for this winter. Wegleitner says that she continues to get recommendations and pass them along to Laura Geier but there is nothing at the moment except MARC east who responded to the rfp. Verveer says it won’t be available til next March? Right. Verveer asks where the best use of additional city resources be, do you believe if we matched the county money $1.2M would be sufficient. Wegleitner says that it would increase their options significantly. The need operating funds, but right now the barrier is not having a place to get things going. Shine 608 (Sarah and Z! who operated it last year) responded to the rfp, so they have an operator if they had a site. Not having a site is really what is holding us back at this point. She says that she won’t pretend that they don’t need operations money as well, she will be fighting for operations money in 2014 by the county. Verveer says this is a capital budget amendment. She says yes. She says that if you had more resources you believe there would be more people responding to the RFP. She says yes, even MARC is responding at below the assessed value. It is really hard to find something close t downtown, close to services on a bus line for the money, she says if she wasn’t a newby supervisor she would have tried to get more money. But it would be helpful for sure. Lisa Subeck asks what she thinks they really need to make it happen. Wegleitner says if they were doing this a couple years ago it would be easier, but rignt now, no one will even talk to us on East Washington apparently, so she can’t answer the question. She says as we get closer to 1 or 1.2M, we need to be closer to $1.5M. Subeck asks if it would be county owned, she says yes. Subeck asks why the City of Madison should pay instead of the County increasing its commitment. She says that the city residents are already paying county taxes, so why are you asking city residents to carry a bigger burden. Wegleitner says that this would benefit the city taxpaers in a lot of ways, it would save the city money when talking about the high cost of city services, police calls and impact on downtown businesses. It is certainly a county wide issue, but most of the visible homeless is in the city, the services are in the city, her district is in the city, there are homeless people living in every aldermanic district in the city and it is both our problems to solve and you would see a good return on your investment. Subeck asks if the will is there if more money is needed. If the county is going to buy a building and you are asking the city to pay for half of it, it is a harder sell, its hard to sell to our constituents. What are the options, could the county come up with more than $600,000. Wegleitner says that this was a 2013 priority, homeless issues and this one being a big piece of that, and it is definitely a 2014 budget priority, she has been a little out of the loop the last few weeks and she can’t say the pulse of the county board supervisors, but they want to make it happen and if it is just a little bit, she is hopeful they will come forward with a little more funding. They will have to operate the facility and that will be a significant investment as well. Denise DeMarb asks about why people on East Washington will talk to them and she is wondering why. Weglietner says that she is relaying what staff is telling her, but she has been told that they have placed several calls to property owners and they won’t return the calls. We don’t have the money, they are holding out for bigger projects coming down the pike, they see that coming soon because of other projects going on in the area. She has tried, they just don’t get calls back. Shiva Bidar Sielaff asks about the operating costs, what was the month operating costs. Wegleitner says $250,000 for annual. Bidar-Sielaff asks if the county will take on the operating cost or will the city have to partner on that. Wegleitner says she can’t give them a definitive answer, it depends upon what happens with this amendment. $250,000 is a lot of money to local governments subject to a levy limit and she will ask for $250,000 in the budget, but she can’t promise that is going to pass. She would think that the county would be looking for partners, but if there was a significant investment on the capital side it would certainly help to show that you are already invested, she apologizes for that not being a good answer. Bidar-Sielaff asks if she were to prioritize where you see the partnership from the city, understanding that the building has to come first, do you have a preference. Wegleitner says that it depends upon how much money you are talking about. She sees the site as the biggest hurdle. Obviously operating is not a slam dunk easy hing to fund, it is always more challenging. She says they do have some money in the 2013 operating budget, they would like to see it in the 2014 budget and she will be advocating for that, at this point the site is the barrier, if you are talking about a significant amount of operating money she might answer differently. Subeck asks if the real estate people could give a number about what it would take, she wonders if $600,000 is the right number, could they give us an idea if this were to go to council. Wegleitner says there are a lot of variable, she could try to get the information but it may come with a disclaimer. David Ahrens asks about how important the downtown location is because a homeless person said that maybe downtown wasn’t necessary, should everything be concentrated downtown, what do you think of that, it seemed to be dismissed out of hand, would that reduce the price and operating costs. Wegleitner says there is some attractiveness to decentralizing services and having neighborhood places to go, when you are talking about a comprehensive day resource center, you want it accessible by as many people who need it as possible which is why the Homeless Issues Committee, which has the input of homeless people, the homeless person who spoke is on the committee, thought it was really important to be close to downtown. It doesn’t have to be, but then you will be looking at picking up operating costs with bus passes or transportation services and it will be more challenging to get folks to all the places they need to go, there are challenges. The shelters, the free meal sites, Journey Mental Health, all these places are downtown. Mayor says he has a question which isn’t necessary to have a answer now, but there is solid evidence that there are a number of communities (which he can’t name now as they are investigating this) that make arrangements to bring their homeless to Madison, and add that to what Corrections has done by releasing people to Dane County, how would you devise a formula for those communities to participate in the capital and operating costs of the facilities. If you have any recommendations there, he would be interested. She says she will take that question home.
DeMarb asks Schmiedicke about how this is in the capital budget, what does it look like if this is in our capital budget if the county is owning it, are we gifting it, if so how is this capital. Schmiedicke says there is an option of making it a grant, it is for a building. The other option is join ownership of the property so the city has an asset. The debt service would be paid back from the levy over time. Mayor says that if it is a grant, our grants are generally operating budget, he thinks that is an important point. He says he would be very reluctant to give anything away without retaining an asset, the city has a history of doing this and he thinks we regret it. We gave away the space for the 911 center, space that as value that we can use today that would solve problems and we can’t get that space back.
DeMarb asks about $600,000 it doesn’t seem like an equitable split, what would be a better number for the city. Mayor says zero. We are part of the county, we have always been part of the county, after 150 years we some recognition, some status. We are part of the county, I suggest that city members of the county board be the first ones to realize that we are part of the county and the the county get 50% of its taxes from city residents. The day is over where the city of Madison serves only the City of Madison and the County serves only the County of Dane outside the city of Madison. She says she will vote against it, not because it is not needed, she believes it is needed, she thinks it needs more discussion. She doesn’t think it belongs in the capital budget and she doesn’t believe the amount is equitable.
Subeck says she is voting against it, it pains her after years of working on these issues, but she couldn’t agree more, this isn’t the city’s role to match the money. It is bothersome that the county board supervisors are here asking for it and don’t know what they need. Of course, if the county proposed something for the city we would all show up and say rah, rah, rah, but we haven’t established the need and the reason the city would pay a disproportionate share of this. If the county needs another $600,000 she will go to their budget meeting and I will say that you should tax it from us, but not dump it on the City of Madison taxpayers.
Mayor says that he wants to make it very clear that we have an obligation and responsiblity to deal with the needs of those who are homeless. There are serious reservations about how we do it, he wants to make it clear that our involvement in this is tempered by acknowledgement and recognition that this is not just our problem and acknowledgement and recognition that there are cities in and out of Dane County and others, including State agencies that make it a practice to send individuals to the City of Madison for care and shelter. Sometimes it is well intentioned as it was 20 years ago with the young arsonist from Black River Falls becuase he said that he was told that there are people who could help me in Madison. But no one told us he was coming and after he set the money on the porch on E. Washington and then one by LaFollette and we caught him by his third one, but he isn’t the only one and 20 years ago isn’t as recently as it happened. If you go to the website for Grace Episcopal Church you will see a statement from the minister of Monona Squad cars dropping people off in front of the church on W. Washington, we are presently checking the records of other municipalities in Dane County in regards to them driving people to Madison and dropping them off on the square. Add to that the Department of Corrections and other agencies, and he wants to know why some struggling household here in the city should pay for that. He is sick and tired of seeing letters in the paper saying that you have a responsibility to take care of Madison’s homeless. Oh, there are no homeless in the suburban communities, townships, outside of Dane County, offenders who spent their lives in other communities and upon release were brought to Madison. Until there is acknowledgement of this as an acceptance of reality and fact. He refuses to be blackmailed into dealing with this with the economic argument that our streets will be safer so our merchants will do better. If that is the case, these folks can return to their home community and their merchants can do better when their cities and villages . . . and you know what, if the shelters have to be located close to the services, this is all negotiable, he’d be agreeable to seeing the shelter being located outside of Madison, he’d be agreeable to seeing the services located outside the city of Nadison. He can think of some towns and citys and villages in Dane County that have enough empty storefronts, warehouses, dance halls that they have excellent sites, but until there is recognition that we have a disproportionate share of responsibility because we have been rewarded for our generosity, by those who simply shuttle the distressed in their own neighborhoods into our city, there is not much to talk about.
Palm says that he serves on the Homeless Issues Committee for the past year and a half and he has been working so closely with so many people who are truly affected by homelessness, he had thought about a lot of changes he could make to this amendment but it is not going to pass so he doesn’t know why he would do that. If it was such a big deal we have equity in the building, fine. Just like anything else if they don’t need the whole amount, that could be what we grant, we balance our budgets through numbers. At the end of the day this is about people, people in our community, people who live in our community but also are visiting our community, this is about people struggling in our community, it is about people and families that have children that go to our schools that need support and services that are funded through the school district, who need after school programs just like everyone else, who go to our neighborhood center and our libraries, who the police interact with, you interact with fire when the ambulance comes, they are people who need our engagement the most, that is why he brought this forward. While he certainly wants a day center that people have access to where people can get access to resources, information, a kind hand or a good conversation or a place to take a nap. I think the council has an obligation to have a discussion about these things that affect our residents. He considers if you put your head down at night to go to sleep, you are a resident of the City of Madison. And these people live in the City of Madison, within our boarders and we should treat them as if we live with them and they are our neighbors and residents. He is sorry if there is a huge political battle going on between state and other municipalities, and the county and within our own districts and neighborhood associations and churches and whatnot, but at the end of the day, none of that helps people who are tying to find a warm safe place to spend time, to get some assistance and to potentially truly, create a center that would not have someone wondering the street for 3 month looking for a place to work or a place to sleep but get them immediately connected to the right resources that would get them connected to make the productive members of Madison’s society. Get them employment, get their children engaged in schools. He will continue to insist that the council has discussions, the Mayor’s office engages in this, he knows it is a tough decision, the resolution is not perfect, he wants to share that with them because he thinks it is important.
Clausius is not going to support this amendment, but in fairness to Alder Palm, he said this was a conversation, a starter. He would never commit the city to $600,000 when we have this open pipeline of dumping people who are homeless and are criminals here. Lets get that closed first.
Subeck appreciates Alder Palms plight about needing a conversation about homelessness and how we deal with it. She doesn’t think a building is near as important as the services we can provide and if we are going to invest in anything, she wants us to invest in services, not in a building for the county.
Palm is the only one to vote aye. Motion fails.
Move to send the budget to the council, passes. They adjourn.
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