The Stonefield Stump – June 2019

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Stonefield Neighborhood Friends,

Thank you to over 35 neighbors that attended the Stonefield Neighborhood Association (SNA) Annual Meeting on April 16th at Elm Lawn Elementary. The agenda created an opportunity for discussion, direction, and decisions. Following the approval of minutes and treasurers report the following incumbent board members were re-elected:

Kristin Florin – At Large
Dennis Cliff – At Large
Bill McCarthy – Treasurer
Jon Ryan – Secretary

There were no nominations to replace my vacant position as president. I agreed to carry forward in the role until a suitable replacement can be found. With a new job starting in July, I am only able to commit to the presidency at a minimal level so if you have interest in giving back to the neighborhood as president please let me know. I am most willing to support a person in transition.

The annual meeting discussed the high water levels of Stricker and Tiedeman Ponds as well as flooding last fall. Shawn Stauske, Director of Public Works from the City of Middleton delivered a written report that was shared (located at the conclusion of this correspondence). Martin Ganco, Mike McKenna, Jon Ryan, and I formed a committee to address the city with flooding concerns with the support of Rooster Run Condominium President Greg Sheehy.

The Rooster Run Condominiums inquired about becoming voting members of the SNA. To consider the request a required-by-law change is needed and that would be a slow process. Given the feedback from the annual meeting, I am inclined to push forward and allow the association to determine the inclusion of Rooster Run into the SNA through a membership vote as I see an advantage of being unified when approaching and communicating about matters of mutual concern.

The annual meeting members in attendance also expressed a desire to maintain the entrances through a contracted service. Mulch, pruning, and plantings will be maintained using association dues. Additionally, a plan to maintain the medians on Stonefield Road was discussed. Working first with the City of Middleton, SNA will implement a plan for maintenance of the median and utilize contracted services as necessary to keep the medians looking nice. A member also stated they liked the new sign and inquired if a similar sign could be placed at the other locations. I will facilitate a question to the neighborhood as to whether or not to replace additional signs.

SNA members may now apply for a mini-grant to shepherd projects less than $500 in the neighborhood. Please visit our website for a mini-grant application.

A summer reminder that boats and campers are not permitted to remain on streets or in driveways for more than 48 hours. Thank you for policing yourself.

A special thank you to Kendra Deja for hosting another most successful garage sale event, facilitating the replacement of the little library on the corner of Woodgate and Boundary, and supporting the Fourth of July celebration. If you are able to support the Fourth of July in any way please reach out to Kendra and let her know you are willing and able. Many hands make for light work!

Thank you and have a great summer!

Luke Francois
Past President SNA


From the Public Works Department of the City of Middleton:

Following up on our phone conversation, there are a few concurrent activities being pursued with regard to the water level control of Stricker & Tiedeman Ponds.

The permanent pump station has been operated continuously except for the necessary pause during winter. With permission from the DNR, the pump was run well into a fairly cold fall, and was started again this spring when there was still ice on the pond. The overall intent has been to try balancing the water levels in relation to the nearby street pavement, so that we can maintain a little buffer before roads flood again.

I understand the progress we’ve been able to make with the permanent pump station (augmented with a portable pump last fall) hasn’t yet been able to catch up with the water that came in last year. Last year was the second-wettest year in Madison since record-keeping began more than 150 years ago. According to the National Weather Service, last year the total precipitation in Madison was 50.64 inches, which was only a couple of inches below the 52.91 inch record set in 1881. The 2018 record includes 3.78” of rain at the Dane County airport (the Madison NWS station) on August 20, but much more than that amount of rain fell on Middleton that night (officially 11.63”). For reference, our normal annual precipitation is about 35 inches.

In addition to continuing progress with the permanent pond pump, we’ll be looking into how best we might be able to set up a temporary pump again this spring. With the lower pond surface at Tiedeman, setting a temporary pump this spring would be more complicated than the configuration we were able to use last fall. The storm sewer manhole we pumped from last fall doesn’t have enough water in it now into which we could set a suction hose.

Apart from the potential desire for near-term dewatering of these two ponds, we also plan to pursue hiring a consultant to investigate some concepts for longer-term dewatering improvements. After narrowing down the feasible alternatives, we’d like the consultant to do some preliminary design with estimated costs for each of the short-listed alternatives to help inform a recommendation for final design and implementation.

Hope this helps,

Shawn Stauske
City of Middleton
Dir. Public Works / City Engineer
(608) 821-8381