Government

Thu
14
Nov
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Republican Legislators Halt Gun Law Discussion

MADISON–A September Marquette Law School Poll on gun laws in Wisconsin showed that just over 80 percent of citizens contacted want gun safety laws put in place (see graphic). In October, Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order for a special session to be held on Nov. 7 addressing two gun related bills presented by Melissa Sargent (D-Madison). 

The first bill was to enact a “red-flag” law. These laws, allow law enforcement officers or family members to petition a judge to temporarily revoke someone’s right to buy, own or carry weapons if they are a threat to themselves or others.

The second bill would have ensured universal background checks when purchasing a firearm. The background checks would include private sales at gun shows as well as Internet sales. There was an exclusion for firearms sold among family members.

Wed
06
Nov
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Protestors Picket City Council Meeting

MIDDLETON–Two dozen people picketed outside the Middleton City Hall Nov. 5 before the city council meeting to oppose a change to airspace classification the council was set to vote on, and oppose any airport expansion. The council tabled the airspace classification until an ongoing master plan is completed

Steve Ziegler who owns property adjacent to the airport said he was at the airport commission meeting where the change in airspace regulations was proposes and found it troubling.

“What really concerns me is that in 20 years there is this airspace definition that needs to be quickly adjusted one week notice to a commission, brought to the chamber here with one month in the middle of a master plan study, $250,000, two-and-a-half-year study and all of the sudden we are redesigning airspace because of a petition that was brought forth to a commission with less than one week to study it, that was very confused by it,” Zeigler said. 

Thu
31
Oct
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Plan Commission Approves Concept for Affordable Housing Apartment Building

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission approved the conceptual plan and set a public hearing for rezoning for a proposed four-story, 37 unit apartment building at the site of the now closed Sonic fast food restaurant 6413 University Ave. 

The project is being proposed The Commonwealth Companies. Kevin McDonell from Commonwealth said they are the seventh largest affordable housing developer nationwide.

McDonell explained the company in vertically integrated with in house architects, construction and property management.

McDonell said Commonwealth developments are mostly in Wisconsin but they have properties in 14 other states as well with 5,850 units altogether in nearly 100 properties.

The University Avenue proposal would consist of 37 units at market rate and affordable apartments in a mix of one, two and three-bedroom apartments. Thirty-one of the units would be affordable while the remaining would be market rate. 

Mon
14
Oct
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County Board to Hold Public Meeting on Proposed 2020 Budget

DANE COUNTY–The Dane County Board of Supervisors will hold a special meeting to take public testimony on the proposed 2020 Dane County budget on Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in room 201 of the City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Madison. The public is invited to testify for or against items in the County Executive’s proposed budget. Testimony is also welcome on any amendments to that proposal. 

The proposed 2020 Dane County budget authorizes a total of $653.7 million for combined operating and capital expenditures, financed by $385.8 million in outside revenues, existing resources and borrowing; $68.2 million in sales tax; and $191.9 million in county tax levy funds.  The proposed budget results in an increase in property taxes of $21.85 on the average Madison home (valued at approximately $300,967). 

Thu
10
Oct
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Council Asks State, Feds to Address Gun Violence

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council approved a resolution Oct. 1 imploring state and federal governments to take emergency action to address gun violence. The resolution was sent to all of Middleton’s respective legislators along with a letter from police chief Chuck Foulke, which calls for change which could have prevented the attempted mass shooting at WTS Paradigm in Middleton a little over a year ago. 

The resolution adopted by the council calls for legislation creating a red flag law or “extreme risk protective order,” universal background checks, a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines and reinstitution of a 48 hour waiting period to purchase firearms.

The resolution points to Gov. Tony Evers’ challenge to the legislature to take up such proposals. 

Fri
04
Oct
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Board Approves Water Retention Pond

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Town board supervisors last week approved construction of a storm water retention pond, contingent on reaching an agreement with Stonebrook Estate residents unhappy about its location.

By a 3-2 vote, with Supervisors Denise Schmidt and Brent Renteria dissenting, the board awarded a $375,591 bid to MJ Excavating, of Johnson Creek. The bid not only came in well under the town engineers’ pre-bid cost estimate of $543,239 but construction can begin either this fall or next spring.

The Stonebrook residents have opposed the planned storm water retention pond to be dug in an out lot of the 66 residential lot subdivision. They have contended that the town’s easement on the out lot doesn’t permit a storm water pond there. They also say they weren’t consulted about the project until well after planning began and they aren’t protected against accidents occurring on their property.

Fri
04
Oct
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Plan Commission Gets First Look at Concept for Senior Living Complex

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission reviewed the concept for a senior living building located between the belt line and Parmenter St. north of County Highway M. The proposal is a three story building with 99 units, of which 30 are independent living units, 48 assisted living units, and 21 in the basement-level are memory care units.

The proposal was introduced by Tom Peintka, co-owner of the real estate developer for the project’s TUKKA Properties. President of MIG Commercial Real Estate, the landowner, Bradley Hutter also shared information on how the project would change the overall plan for development along Tribeca Dr. 

He explained that the TUKKA project is first in a series of development projects coming to Tribeca which will eventually redevelop the entirety of the site, beginning next spring. 

Sun
22
Sep
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National Voter Day Registration Events Planned

MIDDLETON–Make your voice count!  Voting is your chance to weigh in on issues that matter to you, but to do that you need to be properly registered.

Sept. 24 is National Voter Registration Day.  Since 2012 this national holiday has sponsored activities throughout the country to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to vote. Last year over 800,000 voters throughout all 50 states used National Voter Registration Day to register to vote.

Sat
14
Sep
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City Council Defers Middleton Center Phase Three for Parking Review

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council deferred approval of the finalized building plan for phase three of Middleton Center amid contention over proposed changes and the implementation of the overall development’s parking plan. 

The revised building plan submitted by developer T. Wall Enterprises calls for two buildings instead of the originally proposed three. The buildings would be on Terrace Ave., one would be multifamily residential and the other would be mixed use with commercial space in the ground level. Together the buildings would have a total of 65 units consisting of efficiencies, one and two bedrooms.

The plan also calls for changes to the parking plan which would deactivate some lift and slide mechanisms that were installed to meet the city’s parking requirements in tight spaces and eliminating parking credits for bike parking, bus passes and community cars.

Alder Robert Burke said he was concerned about the parking plan.

Sat
14
Sep
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Airport Noise Riles Residents

MIDDLETON–Complaints about noise from airplanes using the Middleton Municipal Airport, and explanations for it received a thorough airing at last week’s Airport Commission meeting.

Take offs and landings have greatly increased to more than 38,000 annually during the past few years creating more noise for nearby residents and increasing their concerns.

Two residents said that after making a complaint about airplane noise, planes flew low and loud over their property in retaliation.

A yellow airplane and a white Cirrus plane with blue markings were identified as the planes that have allegedly buzzed houses near the airport in retaliation for noise complaints.

Airport Manager Rich Morey said he hadn’t heard about a problem with the white Cirrus before and there were about five yellow-painted airplanes hangered at the airport. 

“We’ll look into this,” he said.

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