Government

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.

Sat
14
Sep
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Vaping Ban Takes Effect

MIDDLETON–A Middleton city ordinance banning the use of vape products where smoking is banned went into effect on Sept. 6, just one day after Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) issued a health warning concerning the use of the devices.

The measure was proposed in Middleton by Alders Dan Ramsey and Luke Fuszard in May, before 53 hospitalizations in Wisconsin and Illinois and five deaths around the nation were related to flavored, liquid vaping solution. All of the patients were experiencing respiratory problems, and in many of the incidents the liquid was acquired on the street affecting both nicotine and THC products.

Thu
18
Jul
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Plan Commission Shows Support for Hotel, but Doesn’t Approve Concept Plan

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission reviewed the concept plan for a proposed four story, 87-unit hotel at 3055 Deming Way titled Towneplace Suites by Marriott. While the plan commission did not grant concept approval because of safety concerns raised by planning staff, there was support for the project on the site should the concerns be addressed.

Towneplace Suites would be an extended stay hotel between Spectrum Brands and Nursery Dr. just north of the confluence pond. The building would be oriented lengthwise to face Highway 12 and be surround by 88 parking spaces and two storm water ponds.

Planning and zoning administrator Mark Opitz said staff are concerned about the amount of impervious surface on the site, access to the site and the orientation to the street.

Optiz said should the development move forward staff are recommending another access point into the site be required because as proposed there is only one entrance and exit. 

Thu
18
Jul
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Stonebrook Estates Water Action Delayed

MIDDLETON–After a boisterous and, at times, emotional discussion Monday between Stonebrook Estates homeowners and Town of Middleton officials about a new a storm water detention pond, it was decided another meeting was needed.

The town board wanted to consider putting a $525,000 storm water pond in Stonebrook out for bid but many of the north side subdivision’s 66 families were adamantly against it and said their concerns were being ignored.

The town board has selected a 40-acre outlot between Ellington Way and Stonebrook Circle for the detention pond and has an easement recorded on the subdivision’s mid-1990s final plat that allows the town to “manage storm water”.

Thu
11
Jul
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Council Gets Update from Middleton Area Development Corporation

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council received an update from the president of the Middleton Area Development Corporation (MADC) about the work the organization is doing in partnership with city officials and the Middleton Chamber of Commerce. MADC finances projects intended to boost economic growth including business projects like development of Middleton Center, the expansion of Electronic Theater Controls, Lucigen Corporation, Capital Brewery and Death’s Door Distillery and the Sand Bar at Keva Sports Center.

MADC president Kevin Mahaney explained to the council that the organization is a private loan fund administered by a local board made up of people with a variety of experience including bankers, business owners, and private investors. 

Fri
05
Jul
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Plan Commission Approves Bike and Ski Park Concept

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission approved a concept plan for a proposed bicycle and cross-country skiing park next to the Pleasant View Golf Course. The park would include a new facility, multi-use paved and dirt trails, bicycle obstacles and features areas. 

"Erdman Park" is the placeholder name for the project that would develop trails and facilities on land to the northern edge of the Pleasant View Golf Course. Landowner Dan Erdman is donating eight acres to be annexed to the city in a private non-profit partnership with the Central Cross Country Skiing Association.  

The association plans to fundraise to build a small campus that would eventually become an Olympic Training Center. 

The city council allocated $420,000 to the park in the 2018 budget with funding from the park development fund. The city has spent $79,640 to date on fencing and design work.

Fri
05
Jul
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Meter Increase for Fire Protection in Effect as of July 1

MIDDLETON–A change in the way public fire protection fees are collected went into effect on July 1. The City of Middleton will now place a fee on water meters based on the size of the meter. The fee had previously been a part of property taxes. 

State imposed tax levy limits for cities in Wisconsin have caused municipalities to come up with new ways to collect the tax, which is regulated by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC), and required for all cities, villages and towns. The amount collected through property tax in Middleton was approximately $485,000 per year.

Statewide about 60 percent of municipalities still use the tax levy system, according to the PSC. Cities around Dane County have now switched to the water meter system for fire protection fees.

Fri
14
Jun
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Women Celebrate Kick-Off of Suffrage Centennial at Capitol

MADISON–With great joy and possibly even greater creativity, hundreds of white-clad women and girls, many wearing period clothing, hats, and sashes of the early 20th century, descended upon the state capitol on June 10. It was the Women’s Suffrage Centennial kick-off, celebrating Wisconsin as the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment, ultimately granting women the right to vote.   

Alternating between festive and somber, the capitol atmosphere felt electrified. Rebecca Alwin, 71, one of a group of women known as a “gaggle of grannies” with the “Raging Grannies,” singers for social justice and peace, had dressed in grandmotherly attire and serenaded a group of female legislators posing for photos.

“With the least provocation we do break into song,” Alwin, a Middleton native confessed. Serendipitously running into the legislators prompted a rousing chorus from The Vote Song: “If you can’t be bothered voting, think again!”

Wed
03
Apr
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Fuszard Upsets Teal, Incumbents Dominate Election

DANE COUNTY–City of Middleton voters in Common Council District 5 overwhelmingly turned out for Luke Fuszard. Fuszard beat incumbent Howard Teal, who held the seat for more than 20 years, 74.6 percent to 24.6 percent.

In an email to the Times-TribuneFuszard said, "First, I want to express my gratitude to Howard Teal for his years of service to Middleton. He is a good man with a good heart who cares deeply about this community. And thank you to all those who share in the vision of a city of Good Neighbors, Good Schools, and Good Government. Now the real work begins, and I look forward to collaborating with Mayor Brar, the rest of the Common Council, city staff, and most especially the residents of District Five to make this vision a reality."

The other contested race for Middleton Alder was in District 3 where Katy Nelson and Sarah Cords faced off. Nelson easily won the spot with 57.9 percent of the vote to Cords’ 41.4 percent.

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