The newly focused Downtown Coordinating Committee met for the first time Thursday night, and approved an ordinance to raise maintenance charges for downtown businesses.
The committee voted to recommend an ordinance to City Council that would raise “special charges,” or fees for maintenance, for businesses in the downtown area.
Ledell Zellers, Ald. District 2, said raising the fees would help pay for services such as snow and garbage removal. She said the committee is recommending raising the fees because in some parts of the area, snowplowing and other services require more labor than others.
“[The city] charges everyone the same amount,” Zellers said. “It’s just like some people get charged taxes for schools, but they don’t send their kids to school.”
The ordinance will now go to the Board of Estimates for voting.
This is the first meeting of the committee since its areas of responsibility were narrowed to State street and the four streets surrounding the Capitol.
“Our role … is to help problem-solve, help figure out how to get the right match of resources and services and help the folks receiving services understand what benchmarks are and what expectations should be,” Mary Carbine, executive director of Madison Business Improvement Department said.