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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: 

Mallards ballpark gets 4-times-bigger sign

Mallards ballpark gets 4-times-bigger sign

A crane was seen Thursday morning as a crew installed the new 440-square-foot video board, four times bigger than the former sign and designed to be visible around the entire ballpark.

Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich Gardens to host redevelopment meetings

Olbrich Botanical Gardens will host a series of meetings for public input on a development plan for new buildings.

Olbrich is working with HGA, an architectural firm, to evaluate building needs. Final recommendations may include additions and renovations, a news release said.

An upcoming meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on pre-design planning is the second in a series of planning forums.

Three more meetings will be held through May 20.

The planning process will begin with a declaration of guiding principles. Schematic design input forums will follow.

Olbrich said it will maintain up-to-date information on meeting notes on its website.

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison's apartment vacancy rate hit its lowest level in at least 16 years, as economic challenges have forced thousands of Madison residents to seek affordable units.

Only 2.6 percent of the city's apartment units were available in the third quarter, according to Madison Gas and Electric data. Vacancies have dwindled nearly every year since 2005, when 6.4 percent of units didn't have occupants.

The high demand is causing rent prices to increase and allowing landlords to turn more potential tenants away, said Brenda Konkel, executive director at the Tenant Resource Center in Madison.

"It's probably the worst I've seen it," she said. "For people who have had problems with unemployment, who don't have steady income, for people who have any type of blemish on their rental record, it's become incredibly difficult."

Homeowner To Rebuild In Lerdahl Park Neighborhood

Homeowner To Rebuild In Lerdahl Park Neighborhood

The new owner of a home in the Lerdahl Park Neighborhood has hired a Madison Architect firm in hopes of demolotion the home located at 401 Woodward Drive.

Design Coalition Arcitechts will file a demolition permit application on March 16 for Plan Commission review.

The homeowner said in documents filed with the city that the home is in dilapidated condition. It has extensive roof damage and mold.

The owner said he wants to have the existing home demolished and construct a new home on the site that would overlook Lake Mendota.

North Madison Home Among 16 Included In Project Home Paint-A-Thon

A home on Northport Drive on Madison's North Side is among the 16 homes that Project Home volunteers are giving a makeover this summer.

The 22nd annual Paint-A-Thon will paint the homes of low-income homeowners on Saturday, Aug. 14. Organizers said the homes are owned by low-income residents, most of whom are elderly and frail.  The homes will receive greatly needed exterior painting through the help of 210 volunteers. Over the last 21 years, Paint-a-thon has painted 465 homes of neighbors in need. 

Four of the 16 homes have already been painted because they were issued citations from the city of Madison and the homeowners were facing deadlines.

Local Group Unveils Apartments For Homeless Families

A number of Madison families now have a place to call home.

The Road Home of Dane County is an organization that's goal is to fin a solution for homeless families.

The group held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their newly renovated eight-unit apartment building on Vera Court on Madison's north side on Saturday.

Families that will now have a place to live said they are grateful for the opportunity.