With a focus in replacing the city’s infrastructure, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has committed $326.1 million to the 2018 capital budget.
Soglin held a press conference Tuesday to announce his 2018 budget and the 2019-23 Capital Improvement Plan, which reflected the need to replace the city’s infrastructure while also investing Madison’s “limited financial resources” in affordable housing, economic growth and services.
The executive capital budget totals at $326,067,643 while the CIP totals at $184,326,625 for 2018.
In last year’s budget, Soglin anticipated a new public market that would create economic stimulation. This year, Soglin has budgeted $14 million for The Madison Public Market.
The market will serve as a hub for food, community space and job stimulation. The design of the market is scheduled to be completed in 2018 and construction will begin in 2019.
Soglin also highlighted the need for increased city services, including buses and facilities.
The 2018 budget includes $85 million for new general obligation borrowing, which encompasses more $3 million to address the need for federal funding for transit capital. About 42 percent of the total executive CIP will be spent on transit.
To address those needs, Soglin said there will be an increase in property taxes.
In a statement, Soglin said there will be a 2 percent increase in taxes for the average home value. This will that ensure transit needs will be addressed despite the decline in assistance from state and federal government.
“Providing [city] services in the face of declining national and state assistance means that local families and businesses must shoulder the burden – through higher property taxes – to pay a greater share of the cost for ensuring everyone can get to work and school,” Soglin said.
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Other city projects include the expansion of several bike paths, such as the Capital City Trail and the Bus Rapid Transit.
The bike paths — totaling about $13.9 million — will be expanded upon to improve biking infrastructure. Construction is expected to take place from 2018 to 2022.
The Bus Rapid Transit will increase the metro system current capacity while simultaneously reduce ride times. The proposed budget is $3.3 million and project planning s expected to take place in 2023.
To further help fund these projects, Soglin has proposed $151,951,197 in borrowing.
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Soglin said he is “not satisfied” with the current level of debt the city is in. His concerns with the amount of borrowing the city does goes back to when he took office in 2011.
“I’d like to believe that my concerns and my working with the council has had some effects and that the debt service is lower than it would otherwise have been, but I am not satisfied that it has been lowered enough,” Soglin said. “In most instances, I think there were reasonable solutions were really amounted to postponing projects … We simply can’t do so much all at once.”
To make the budget more accessible to the Madison community, an interactive map has been created outlining all ongoing projects and their respective budgets, Soglin said.
The map has been separated into four categories: Facilities, parks, transportation and utilities. There is a fifth category to represent all projects that do not have a geospatial location, including machinery and equipment purchases and planning efforts.
“With this innovation, we’re making tremendous progress in making the budget accessible to the public,” Soglin said. “We hope that people learn from it, enjoy it and give us comments about its utilities.”
The budget will be officially voted on in November.