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City to keep adding flouride to water supply

City to keep adding flouride to water supply

The Madison Water Utility Board said this week that it would continue to add fluoride to the city's drinking water.

The utility board voted at its meeting Tuesday night to keep its fluoride policy. The city's been adding fluoride to water to improve dental health for 68 years since the policy was adopted in 1946.

Madison Water Utility currently aims for a target fluoride concentration of 0.7 parts per million, as recommended by county, national and international health agencies.

In a news release Wednesday, the city of Madison said it took public comments on the policy Tuesday for about two hours before the vote.

The policy will be reviewed again in 2024.

RELATED: Utility to review adding fluoride to Madison water

$50k grant supports east, west Madison splash park projects

$50k grant supports east, west Madison splash park projects

Two Madison parks are set to get water-play installations after the city Parks Foundation received a $50,000 grant.

A splash park is planned for Reindahl Park, on Madison's east side, and Elver Park, on the city's west side. The city said construction on the additions, which feature interactive water attractions with spray toys and fountains, is scheduled to begin in late spring. The splash parks are expected to open in August.

The city said Monday that the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation Inc. gave $50,000 to the project. 

Funding for the $2 million project was contributed by the city of Madison, which is committed to 85 percent of the cost, plus $50,000 from the Evjue Foundation, $10,000 from American Family Insurance and $50,000 from the Madison Community Foundation.

For more information about the splash parks, visit www.madisonparksfoundation.org.

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

Dane County could make a deal on a new permanent day shelter for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Officials said the push for finding a place for the homeless is because there are so many people still trying to get on their feet after the recession.

The ideal location would be in the immediate downtown area so the homeless can have quick access to services to help them get jobs and get back on their feet. But as the real estate market bounces back, properties that fit the county's needs and fit into the $600,000 budget have been scarce.

As a result, their focus has turned to properties some distance from the city center, like the MARC East building on Lien Road.

"Part of the answer is that the homeless are everywhere in Dane County and everywhere in the city of Madison. But there are many services that are centralized in the central part of Madison, and a building like MARC would require a substantial transportation plan," Hendrick said.

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

Dane County will replace the Alliant Energy Center’s barns with multi-use pavilions in a $24 million project set to begin early next year.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday that the county will award a Middleton construction company a nearly $20.7 million contract to build the pavilions. 

The project is pending funding approval from the Wisconsin State Building Commission and the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

Middleton-based Miron Construction will build the pavilions that will create 290,000 square feet of multi-use space on the footprint of the Alliant Energy Center’s existing barns, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.

Demolition of the barns is expected to begin next year, with the project’s estimated completion in time for the 2014 World Dairy Expo.

860,000 to see food stamp benefits cut Friday

860,000 to see food stamp benefits cut Friday

Hundreds of thousands of people in Wisconsin will see cuts to their food stamp amounts starting Friday. The change comes as a federal boost to the supplemental nutritional assistance program expires.

More than 860,000 people in Wisconsin use the FoodShare program, or SNAP, with more than 50,000 in Dane County alone. All of those people will see cuts to benefits that help them put food on the table.

One of those is Thelia Baker, of Madison, who was at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church food pantry on Madison's southwest side Thursday. She's getting free food there to make ends meet since she's spent what benefits she gets this month. Baker has two kids, and her family of four gets about $370 in FoodShare benefits a month, which will be cut by $40 starting Friday.

"You hate to lose any of them, but what can you do?" said Baker. "You hate to lose any of them, because you can always use them all."

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

It's back to the drawing board for those creating a vision for Madison's Public Market.

Mayor Paul Soglin said the project may not be downtown and everything is back on the table. Soglin introduced a new consultant Tuesday who's beginning a new business plan for the proposed park.

Developing a new business plan could take six to eight months.

"We want to find a place for this that fits the vision and the program of uses and activities, and actual elements that will be in the market. We want a place that supports that," said Steve Davies, senior vice president of Project for Public Spaces.

The public will be invited to weigh in on the consultant's review, which is expected to cost $250,000.

Madison west alder announces bid for State Assembly

Madison west alder announces bid for State Assembly

Madison alderwoman Lisa Subeck announced Thursday that she is running as a Democratic candidate for State Assembly representative in the 78th District.

The district includes many of Madison's far west side and southwest side neighborhoods that Subeck currently represents on the city council, according to a release. Subeck has been a Madison resident since 1989 and has a long history of community engagement and public service.

"I have dedicated my career to advancing public policy that reflects our core progressive Democratic values," Subeck said in a release. "As a member of the city council and as executive director of United Wisconsin, I work every day to strengthen and improve the quality of life in our local communities and our state."

Subeck said she will use her experience in the community, at city hall and in working on public policy to ensure residents of the 78th District have the representation they expect and deserve.