Madison City Council approves 2018 budget

Madison City Council approves 2018 budget

Madison’s Common Council has approved the city’s operating and capital budgets for next year.

Alders kept many city building projects on track including a new fire station, a community center on the far east side and the Monroe Street reconstruction on the near west side.

However, the council voted against a body camera pilot program that would have outfitted 47 Madison police officers working in the city’s north district.

Alders said they are waiting on a comprehensive study of Madison’s police department to come back with recommendations before taking a significant step like buying body cameras.

Supporters of the cameras say it creates the kind of transparency the public wants from its police officers.

Alders did provide $400,000 to match a federal grant to hire 15 more officers.

Alders also decided overnight not to cut $3 million in funding to the city’s upcoming public market.

Some alders wondered about why the city’s investment was going up while the federal government’s share of the project was going down.

The $14 million project seeks to bring more than 130 vendors to the site on East Washington and First Street when it opens in 2019.

Alders wrapped up debate on the overall budget right around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, increasing the total tax levy by roughly 5 percent.

The council passed $855,000 to fund paratransit. This will allow for a longer transition period during the implementation of Family Care.