Madison explores options in ash borer fight

Emerald ash borer (MGN Online/CDFA)

MADISON (AP) - Madison city council members are exploring new ways to fund expensive forestry related mitigation efforts, like the emerald ash borer.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports property tax bumps are under restrictions in the state budget, so the council established a special Alternative Revenue Work Group to find new ways to fund programs with spiking costs.

The group is suggesting an ordinance requiring a fee to help fund the forestry division's work. While the amount isn't yet determined, one possibility would be to have it be based on the length of a home's street-adjacent property line. That would average about $50.

The ordinance will be introduced Tuesday.

Madison has already increased the city's forestry division budget from $3.6 million in 2013 to $5.9 million next year, largely due ash borer efforts.