Every budget is a statement of our values. My capital budget is rooted in my vision of how Madison can be a great city for everyone. A place where individuals and families thrive. A place where businesses start up, grow and prosper. A place where many come to study and play.

That vision is not yet fully realized. Housing has become much less affordable for many in our city. Our mobility options favor those with means, while many individuals and families often face long rides to jobs, schools, and child care on our transit system. The impacts of climate change are causing real problems in our neighborhoods. And we still have deep racial disparities in opportunity and outcomes in our community.

We must–and will-meet and overcome these challenges in ways that are innovative and inclusive.

My priorities for our great city are clear – affordable housing for all residents and the expansion of our transit system to ensure fast, reliable, accessible service. I am committed to doing this work through the dual lenses of equity and sustainability. I am committed to doing it in a fiscally responsible way.

My first capital budget lowers general obligation debt from what was requested by Departments by $116.0 million.

I have always been committed to innovation in the way we do business as a city. Innovation requires that we understand the results our residents seek and use data wisely to develop, implement and monitor the strategies that achieve those results. Delivering results in an efficient, effective and affordable manner means we must make tough choices.

Toward that end, the 2020 Capital Budget and Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) represent a new era for how Madison approaches the budget process. The future of the budget process:

 Is one that begins with funding the outcomes that matter most to our residents.

 It is one where we focus on planning efforts which advance our priorities rather than look for what to cut.

 And most importantly, it is one where we clearly define the problems we are seeking to solve, measure our progress, and report back to the community regarding the outcomes.

For the first time, all 192 capital items proposed by agencies were required to be connected to an element of the comprehensive plan, Imagine Madison. Each was analyzed through a set of criteria to determine those projects that were the highest priority and demonstrated the highest levels of readiness to be completed. This process was intentional and deliberate to identify and support those initiatives that address equity and sustainability goals in our community.

I used the feedback from this process to develop my $1.1 billion plan for capital investment over the next six years. While this process was oriented around investing in those things that matter most to our residents, it was also comprised of many tough decisions. We know the capital needs in our growing city are great and exceed the financial capacity of what our residents can afford. That is why I have introduced a new concept to the city’s capital budget – The Horizon List – a tool to identify and acknowledge critical and high priority projects that are at the conceptual stage which need additional planning prior to inclusion in the Capital Budget. This is an important step to ensuring how we present items in the Capital Budget, both in terms of timeline and dollars, is consistent with what we able to successfully deliver.

To that end, the 2020 Capital Budget & Capital Improvement Plan is built around the 6 Elements of a Great City as identified in Imagine Madison:

 Land Use and Transportation

 Neighborhoods and Housing

 Green and Resilient

 Economy and Opportunity

 Culture and Character

 Effective Government

Below are highlights of how my capital plan advances each of these Elements, which are critical to making our vision of our Great City a reality.

Land Use & Transportation

Madison is a growing City. Over the past twenty years almost 50,000 people have moved into the City. In the next 30 years, our region is projected to have 100,000 more. Our beautiful Isthmus must not be turned into a superhighway. Metro Transit transports 57,000 riders daily. We need to build on success and grow a modern transit system that is regional, fast and reliable. That is why my budget includes:

 Funding implementation of the first phase of Bus Rapid Transit by 2024. Bus Rapid Transit will use dedicated lanes, modern stations, larger buses and other enhancements to expand service and reduce ride times for Metro riders by up to 25%.

 Modernizing the Metro Headquarters facility and our antiquated bus barn to meet the demand for new buses and prepare for more electric vehicles while ensuring the health and safety needs of Metro employees.

 Investing in a Satellite Bus Facility to increase bus storage capacity and prepare for expanded service with the goal of seeing annual ridership reach 18,000,000.

  Enhancing the City’s pedestrian and bike path infrastructure through four projects that will expand our overall path network in the City.

 Continuing to make priority investments in our street network.

Neighborhoods & Housing

Housing is a basic need for everyone. Cultivating strong neighborhoods where residents feel connected, invested, and stable is a vital component in ensuring our City continues to thrive.

As Madison has grown, the landscape of our housing market and neighborhoods has also changed. From 2007 through 2015, 9 out of 10 new Madisonians were renters, and new development has primarily been in multi-family units. Despite that, we have seen the vacancy rate in our rental market fall from 5.6% to 2.8%, which is driving up rents.

Ensuring that all Madisonians have access to affordable housing in complete neighborhoods is a key focus on my administration. The 2020 Capital budget:

 Creates a new Land Banking Fund that makes $1.0 million available annually to acquire parcels of land that can be used for affordable housing and other neighborhood supporting developments, while prioritizing community partnerships.

 Increases funding for the Affordable Housing program to keep pace with increasing construction costs in our community.

 Continues funding for Consumer Lending loan programs aimed at supporting families purchasing a new home or staying in their homes.

 Funds the Healthy Retail Access program which provides grant opportunities for retail food businesses in neighborhoods that lack access to healthy food options.

Green & Resilient

Our climate is rapidly changing as our weather patterns continue to be increasingly unpredictable. For years Madison has demonstrated leadership for the ways we steward the City’s land, air, and water resources. We have also been intentional about offering a world class park system for our residents and visitors.

In this area we know too many trends are going in the wrong direction: total citywide greenhouse gas emissions increased from 3.9 million to 4.6 million tons between 2010 and 2014. The overall solid waste diversion rate has slowed from 73% in 2011 to 61% in 2015. The 2020 CIP seeks to reverse these trends by:

 Continued investment in the Sustainability program. Funding in 2020 will be for the Green Power training program, solar installations on City buildings, and purchasing renewable energy credits. It is our goal to increase the City’s energy generated from renewable sources by 33% in 2020.

 Increased investment in flood mitigation projects with an emphasis on using green infrastructure in new ways so that we dramatically decrease the number of building and roadways that flood during extreme rain events.

 Continued investment in electric vehicles for the City’s fleet, which reduce our emissions and save on maintenance costs.

 Funds to study ways to keep PFAS and chloride contamination from winter salt use out of our drinking water.

Economy & Opportunity

A strong and diversified economy that works for everyone is a critical element to ensuring Madison continues to grow and thrive.

Although we see great strength in these areas, there are very real disparities in household income and educational attainment between communities of color and white families. In addition to investments in affordable housing, transit, local groceries, parks and libraries, the 2020 CIP seeks to reverse these trends by:

 Continuing funding for the Cooperative Business Development program which provides grants and training to cooperatives that are focused on job creation. In 2020 we will seek to support up to 6 newly incorporated business cooperatives.

 Planning to stand up an Equity Business Initiative providing support entrepreneurship and business development among communities historically facing barriers to entering the capital market, especially businesses owned and operated by people of color. This new program is on the Horizon List with the intent that City staff will conduct an equity analysis focused on engaging the community prior to creating the new program.

The Public Market is a project we have debated as a community for a number of years. I recognize this project’s ability to support businesses and cultivate entrepreneurship which is critical to realizing the goals of this element. My budget anticipates construction of the Public Market will continue as currently planned, but transfers the local funding share ($7.5 million) to revenue from the tax increment district that runs along the East Washington Avenue corridor and calls for the Madison Public Market Foundation to raise an additional $500,000 to complete the project. I used the $7.5 million saved here to invest in Bus Rapid Transit, Affordable Housing, and Land Banking with a focus on reducing the City’s debt obligations.

Culture & Character

So much of what makes Madison great is its uniqueness and vibrancy. Madison is a cultural hub in the region drawing in new residents and visitors through the beauty of our natural surroundings and the vibrancy of our neighborhoods. Having welcoming community space is a critical component to continuing these trends.

The 2020 CIP advances these priorities by:

 Funding to complete the renovation of the Warner Park Community Center by 2024. Expansion will especially focus on providing a welcoming space for local youth of color. Once complete, the number of visitors to the Center is expected to increase by 30%.

 Continued investment in our library collection. Funding of this asset over the course of the CIP will increase to keep pace with the projected growth in population.

 New funding to renovate the Senior Center ensuring the facility continues to meet the needs of the City’s older adult community.

Effective Government

Ensuring that Madison continues to thrive requires an efficient and high performing government. The 2020 CIP advances these priorities by:

 Investments in new IT systems replacing outdated legacy systems, specifically new property assessment and tax systems. These systems will help us ensure that commercial properties pay their fair share.

 Investing in a modern, electronic health care records system. With this tool Public Health will consolidate multiple charting and billing systems toward achieving better health outcomes for all residents.

 Improving access to City services and increase employee efficiency by remodeling City office space in the City County Building; specifically the Assessor, Clerk, and Treasury spaces.

Together we will continue to meet our challenges and achieve our priorities as a city. Our vision is a Madison that is innovative, inclusive and thriving. I want that vision to be realized for all our residents. My 2020 capital budget sets a path toward that goal. I look forward to working with you toward achieving the results that all Madisonians expect.


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