Democrats Point to Infrastructure Investment

MADISON – In a joint prepared statement, Democratic candidates for the Madison Borough Council, Council President Carmela Vitale and community volunteer John Hoover, point to the substantial improvements in Madison’s capital investment program that has been accomplished since Ms. Vitale was returned to Council in 2012.

The candidates stated, “The borough has allocated over $6.3 million for borough-wide capital improvements in 2017. Over $4.7 million will go to general capital, of which nearly $3 million is going for road improvements. An additional $1.6 million will go to investments in our water and electric utility infrastructures.

For 2017, $1.83 million has been budgeted for the reconstruction of the following streets: Tracy Ln., Lathrop Ave, Howell St., Locust St., Valevue Rd., Gibbons Pl., Central Ave., and Park Ln. $1.13 million has been budgeted for the following milling and paving projects: a portion of Kings Rd., Fairwood Rd., Maple Ave, Redmond Dr., Oxford Ln., Prospect Pl., Lorraine Rd., Dean St., and West End Ave. After a busy summer, many of these projects have now been completed.

In addition, the Hartley Dodge Plaza will be reconstructed – with substantial financial help from the county – the water mains will be replaced on Central Ave. and needed equipment will be purchased for our police, public works, and fire departments.”

“When I first returned to Council in 2012, we were seriously under investing in infrastructure, and generating most of the investment dollars by drawing down our existing capital improvement fund and by one-time sales of borough property,” stated Ms. Vitale. “This was clearly not sustainable,” Now, guided by recommendations from the 2014-2015 strategic planning effort, we are funding our general capital and utility investment on a financially responsible, pay-as-you-go basis. Current year capital investments and debt service for previously bonded projects come from current year revenues, and specifically from the utility surplus.”

John Hoover noted, “Madison has long funded municipal infrastructure projects from the utility surplus. This minimizes the need for bonding, keeps our municipal tax rate down, and helps to maintain our AAA credit rating. There is an additional benefit: it gives our non-profits the opportunity to contribute to the cost of maintaining our infrastructure. Of the top 50 electric utility customers, 17 do not pay property taxes.”

“We are on the right path now.” The candidates concluded. “Infrastructure continues to age and ultimately deteriorates, but we are investing in equipment, in our roads, in our sewers, in our water mains, and in our utilities at a rate that ensures that we stay ahead of this process. We are maintaining our infrastructure at a sustainable rate, and we are funding it in a sustainable manner utilizing the utility surplus.”