Borough Council Meeting 3-27-23: Community Events and Public Works Working Hard for Madison

This week’s meeting featured important community updates and the official introduction of the budget. Find out how you can help save Monarch butterflies and other pollinators with native plants, get updates on infrastructure and other public works projects, and learn how solar carports will be good for the environment and fully power some public buildings and homes in the future.

Watch the meeting hereView PresentationsSee past meeting recaps
View Agendas hereView Ordinances hereView Resolutions here

Mayor’s Update

  • Drew Forest update: Meeting scheduled this week with Drew officials and the Mayor is hopeful it will be productive.
  • Wind of The Spirit held a domestic worker training program called “We Make History” to help with understanding their rights and being a productive citizen. Several Council members and the mayor attended the graduation ceremony where certificates were presented.
  • Mobile Motor Vehicle program was a great success and service to the community.
  • Proclamation about monarch butterfly was read to recognize their important contribution to our environment and the risks to their populations.
    • Local environmental advocate and Environmental Commission member Bridget Daley shared information, resources and events:

Committee Updates

Below are highlights, please watch the video for complete details.

  • Community affairs
    • Rocco is changing ownership after 60 years and will be called Formaggio and a new Summit Cheese shop is open.
    • DDC Ladies Night, May 11 from 5:30pm-8:30pm
    • Don’t close your eyes” an exhibit at the Madison Community Arts Center, features Ukrainian art on the horrors of war
    • April 24th council meeting moved to Wednesday the 26th to not conflict with the Taste of Madison.
  • Finance
    • Budget process proceeds with some required ordinances and the introduction of official budget later in the meeting.
    • 2% property tax increase which is about a $5/month increase for the average home.
    • Public viewing is next for at least 28 days online, at the library and other locations.
    • Madison can self-certify for the next few years because of the soundness of our budgeting process.
  • Engineering
    • Memorial Park footbridge repair starting this week. The trail construction has an important meeting this year.
    • Various public bidding opens, listen to minute :32 for more details.
  • Public works
    • Fields getting ready for spring sports.
    • Benches placed out for warm weather
  • Public safety
    • MPD participated in an event called “No room for racism”, at the Madison First Baptist church on how to unite against hateful language in the community and schools.
    • MPD also attended the First Baptist church Italian dinner.
  • Health
    • Grant acquired for equipment, list can be heard at minute :37.

2023 Budget Introduction

  • CFO Jim Burnet presented a slightly updated version of the budget.
  • Some excellent clarifying questions from councilmember Haralampoudis followed on uncollected taxes and ratables. 
  • Council member Landrigan was able to draw on his professional experience on ratables to point out that you can’t account for them as revenue until they exist. And some increases are offset by negotiated decreases from tax challenges.
  • The budget hearing will take place at the April 26th Council meeting.

IT Department Presentation

  • Straightforward budget, with modest increase for special services.
  • Covered accomplishments including Cloud migrations and other security improvements.

Other Meeting Details

  • Various ordinances were read for votes. See agenda for details.
  • Public comments
    • One speaker questioned cost over time of the planned MRC solar carport.
      • Jim Burnet answered that $2m is the estimated cost and the federal subsidy is $600-800k, plus annually $100K from state. Will generate enough to cover energy needs for MRC, Hartley Dodge, and more.
    • Another resident shared climate delay and denier rhetoric.
      • Mayor reminded us that he UN has warned that we only have 12 years to curb climate change, this is what we use for guidance.
    • A final speaker requested to have more coordination between the utility advisory and climate action committees.

The remainder of the meeting was uneventful and the next meeting will be April 10th.