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$15M estimated cost of damage in Dane County from storms

$15M estimated cost of damage in Dane County from storms

Dane County officials said the cost of storm damage to area communities this week is estimated at more than $15 million, with about $10 million coming from damage to private property.

County Executive Joe Parisi's office said Thursday that tornadoes in Verona and Madison Tuesday and severe weather in eastern Dane County including Sun Prairie Wednesday damaged 253 homes and several businesses and public buildings. Nineteen homes reported major damage and two homes were destroyed beyond the point of repair.

Prep pipes for plummeting temps, utility says

As temperatures were predicted to drop into the single digits Thursday night, a utility department reminded Madison residents to prepare their homes to protect pipes from bursting. 

The Madison Water Utility said a few preventative steps taken now can help avoid a messy -- and costly -- consequence. 

The department recommended that Madisonians:

  • Check outdoor spigots to make sure all hoses are
  • Disconnect hoses from outdoor spigots
  • Make sure outdoor spigots are turned off and drained
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas like crawl spaces, unheated garages, attics
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of the home

If a resident is planning to go out of town for a few days, the water utility also suggests to: 

Hilldale announces new stores, design

Hilldale announces new stores, design

The first group of new retailers that will open in the newly designed Hilldale mall were announced Tuesday.

The newly designed project, expected to open the fall of 2014, is being developed by WS Development from Massachusetts, according to the release. The firm's plan for Hilldale includes an open-air lifestyle layout with new stores.

The plan proposes to take the existing enclosed mall area between Metcalfe's and Macy's and create an open-air streetscape, officials said. The plan shows outward facing storefronts along the existing streets in the area, and adds an open-air retail connection through a pedestrian walkway to the west parking lot with additional storefronts.

Plans announced for old Stadium Bar location

Plans announced for old Stadium Bar location

A Milwaukee-based company announced Tuesday they will collaborate with a Chicago-based firm to develop and construct a new student housing development on the former location of the Stadium Bar.

The Opus Group along with Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, a Chicago-based real estate investment management firm, will build Varsity Quarters, a new student housing development adjacent to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, according to a release.

The housing development will be built at the former site of the Stadium Bar at 1423 Monroe St., according to the release. The six-story private student housing development will include numerous amenities for tenants, including in-unit washers and dryers, parking for cars, bikes and mopeds, a fitness room, study rooms and a social/club room.

Officials said the development will include approximately 7,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space.

Power restored to Madison, Fitchburg residents

Madison Gas and Electric reported that more than 5,000 residents were without power Tuesday afternoon.

The power outages included neighborhoods south of the Beltline and east of Verona Road. The outages also included Fitchburg residents just south of McKee Road.

A MG&E spokesperson told News3 the outage was caused by a contractor cutting into some wires in Fitchburg.

Monroe Street deal OK'd for 2nd time despite neighbors' concerns

Monroe Street deal OK'd for 2nd time despite neighbors' concerns

Neighbors who fought against a controversial west side development came away unhappy after Madison city leaders approved it for the second time.

Developer Fred Rouse has plans for a four-story building with 21 apartment units and first-floor shopping on the corner of Monroe and Knickerbocker streets.

Neighbors have said they're concerned that people on upper balconies will be able to see into their backyards, and are also worried about an increase in traffic.

"We all want the best possible neighborhood," said Alderman Sue Ellingson, who supported the project despite the opposition of some constituents. "We want it to be a viable place, where people want to live. And it's tragic, I guess, that we don't have the same idea to make that happen."

Neighbors forced the city council to take a stand on the project by petitioning for a second look after the Madison Planning Commission approved the development last month.

Traffic, safety concerns at heart of clash over proposed building

The Madison Common Council will weigh in on a planned multistory building development that’s upset area residents since late May.

The project would replace a car repair shop on Monroe Street and the house next door on Knickerbocker Street with a 21-unit apartment building with retail space.

City planners said the development makes sense for expanding business and growing the neighborhood. But Dudgeon-Monroe neighborhood residents said the apartments and 2,300 square feet of commercial space will bring added traffic and with it, danger to pedestrians including kids playing in the area.