After eight hours of debate, Madison City Council unanimously approved and adopted the new Capital and Operating budgets for 2019 Wednesday morning.
The new Capital Budget amounted to $347.7 million, of which $185.4 million will be borrowed.
These funds will go toward several long-term investments and major construction projects to improve city facilities. The Operating Budget amounted to $332.1 million, $241.8 million of which will come from property taxes.
According to a report from The Cap Times, $30 million of the Capital Budget is designated toward fleet headquarters, $7 million for phase one of Metro Transit’s headquarters renovation, $5 million in Tax Incremental District developer loans and $2.9 million to plan the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive in 2024.
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Members of the City Council also adopted nine amendments to the Capital Budget.
$150,000 will fund a public art project on the Highland and University avenues underpass, $500,000 will be used over five years to replace concrete pads at bus stops to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and $24,000 will go towards the installation of surveillance cameras on the Capital City Trail bike path.
Other amendments focused on fortifying the city against future flooding. Five alders sponsored an amendment to add $5.77 million to the Stormwater Utility Fund to support citywide flood mitigation due to the major flooding in August and storm damage over the past few years. The amendment allocated $775,000 for watershed, flood and planning studies, $1.17 million for land acquisitions, and $5.03 million for public works projects that are a direct result from flooding in August.
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The 2019 Operating Budget will assist in funding several programs such as neighborhood centers and Hmong Kajsiab, a culturally sensitive mental health program for Madison’s Hmong community. A $2 million subsidy will fund tourism measures for the Overture Center.
The new budget will raise the tax bill on an average Madison home – valued at $284,868 – by $72, raising the average home tax to $2,583.