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On the Agenda: Free land for the city, learning about Family Care and a public safety update from Chief Wray

Board of Estimates
Monday, Aug. 25, 4:30 p.m.
Room 260, Madison Municipal Building

The committee will vote on a plan to reject the Army's offer of free land on Park Street for a homeless shelter. Instead, the city wants to buy the land from the federal government, then use it for private development. The city will also take land on Nakoosa Trail, currently owned by the Water Utility and appraised at more than $400,000, and give it to Porchlight for a shelter.

All this, in a year when the city is asking agencies and departments to recommend 5% cuts in their budgets.

Madison School Board
Monday, Aug. 25, 5 p.m.
Doyle Administration Building

The school board considers a proposal by new Supt. Dan Nerad for a referendum that would allow the district to permanently exceed the state's revenue cap. Nerad proposes the district raise an additional $5 million in 2009-2010, eventually increasing to an additional $13 million above the spending limits each year. If the board votes for this referendum, it will be on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Health & Human Needs Committee
Tuesday, Aug. 26, 5:30 p.m.
Job Center Ballroom

Dane County officials are trying to hash out the details of Family Care, the state's new long-term care plan for the elderly and disabled. Advocates worry that Family Care could dismantle Dane County's safety net for people with disabilities by cutting funding. A recent actuarial study found an $1,800 per person monthly gap between what Dane County currently pays for services versus Family Care. Health and Human Needs, charged with the unlucky task of trying to reconcile the difference, has invited various counties to present information on how Family Care works (or doesn't work) for them. Tonight it's Milwaukee's turn.

Common Council -- Discussion
Wednesday, Aug. 27, 6 p.m.
Room 201, City-County Building

Madison Police Chief Noble Wray gives council members an update on public safety in the city. It's a timely topic, given how a rash of serious assaults in 2006 and three apparent stranger murders over the last year have piqued the public's fears. Expect Wray to point out that Madison's crime rate remains low for a city its size, but also to outline distinct crime-prevention strategies that the MPD and city and embracing.

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