Archive for June 2011

Property Tax Assistance

Liz Mensing

Liz Mensing

It is hard to deny that we have suffered through some tough economic times in the recent years.  Many individuals are still feeling the effects of the recession, including the hardships that come with homeownership when money is scarce.  Property tax and mortgage payments can become overwhelming when an individual is trying to get by on very little.  Fortunately there are resources in the community that can help educate and advise seniors when they are faced with foreclosure or struggling to come up with the funds to pay their property taxes.  This list of resources is not exhaustive, but it does offer a few options for assistance.

Property Tax Assistance:

If paying your property taxes has become a burden for you, one of the following programs may offer some help.

1.        Modified Reverse Mortgage Program through the City of Madison (608-266-5917)

2.       The “Help” Property Tax Loan Program through Dane County (608-266-4109)

3.       The Property Tax Deferral Loan Program through the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) (608-266-3528/1-800-755-7835)

These programs all have similar requirements for eligibility.  Applications must be 65 years of age or older and have proof of homeowner’s insurance.  For the City and the County program, the household income for one person cannot exceed $44,800.  For the WHEDA program, the household income cannot exceed $20,000.  The county and the WHEDA program will not pay for delinquent taxes, however the City’s program does offer assistance with delinquent taxes, although they will not pay for interest or penalties.  Please contact the individual program you are interested in to get more information about borrowing limits and interest rates.

Foreclosure Assistance:

If you are in the process of foreclosure, have received a foreclosure summons, or may be worried you are going into foreclosure, one of these resources may offer you some assistance.

1.        The Dane County Foreclosure Clinic.  This clinic was created by the Dane County Foreclosure Prevention Taskforce and its legal partners in response to a rising number of homeowners facing foreclosure suits without lawyers — about 85 percent are unrepresented in court, program sponsors said.  It’s every first and third Thursday in Room 354 of Madison’s City-County Building, the sessions, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., are not intended to provide detailed legal advice.  It’s a first come, first serve basis.

2.       City of Madison Foreclosure Prevention Program (261-5677).*

3.       Greenpath Debt Solutions (888-776-6735).  Request an appointment in the Madison/Monona office.*

*Information from the second and third resources listed were found on the Dane County Housing Authority’s Housing Center website:  http://www.dcha.net/housingcenter/trouble-paying-your-mortage.php.

Taking advantage of the programs and information available in your community can give you a greater understanding of your situation and more control over your financial future.  While these topics can be cumbersome, it is important to remember that there are individuals in the community who want to share their expertise and help you through a difficult process.

17th Annual Summer Concert Series at the Warner Park Shelter

Jim Krueger

Jim Krueger

There are many parts of my job as Programs Director that I really enjoy, but one part I enjoy a lot is choosing the bands that will perform at each year’s summer concert series. I don’t sing or play any musical instrument very well but I do have a good appreciation for many different types of music and I enjoy listening to musicians perform. So for each of the past three years I have gone out in search of local bands to play for NESCO’s summer concert series. I like to find bands that are not overexposed (and play at every community festival) and I like to bring in a couple “new” bands each year that have never played at our concert series or have not played here in the last 3 years. The exception to the rule is Ladies Must Swing because they are so wonderfully talented and such a big draw every year. I have fairly high standards when listening to potential bands and I try to keep in mind the likes and dislikes of our typical summer concert audience. I appreciate those of you who have given me names of bands you would like to see play at our concerts. Keep those suggestions coming. With all that said I am very excited about the 2011 Concert Series.

The concert series starts June 13, at 6pm, with some fabulous Dixieland Jazz from the Avenue Sizzlers. The Sizzlers have been on my radar screen for a couple of years now but were playing Monday’s at the Avenue Bar and could not fit into the schedule. Swing we must on June 20 with our annual performance from the all woman group Ladies Must Swing. Each year will bring in a Latino band to perform. This year on June 27, Los Gavilanes a four-man band dressed in matching charro — Mexican horsemen’s outfits composed of black vests, black pants, crisp white shirts, fancy green bowties and, sometimes, sombreros will play a variety of Mexican music. Knowing our Latino seniors there will be dancing involved. There is no concert on July 4.

A number of you have been persistent in requesting a bluegrass band. I had nothing against this request I just had to find one that included a good vocalist. But then I saw the fun-loving Oak Street Ramblers and now they will kick off the second-half of our series on July 11 with a mix of popular bluegrass and country songs. One of our most lively concerts occurred two years ago when the Davis Family Band was in town to perform. I had not heard them live before but was told by numerous people that they were a great band. When I saw them perform here two years ago I was impressed! I can’t bring them back every year but on July 18 the Davis Family Band will be here to dazzle us with their talent as they perform many classic rhythm and blues songs from years past. Each year I have brought in a band that some attendees are leery about because they are “new” or are a different type of music. Well on July 25, back by popular demand is the band from last year that some attendees did not think they would like……..to wrap up this year’s concerts series will be the accordion rock sounds of Copper Box.

The concerts are free admission, fun for all ages, and a concessions stand to buy your dinner. It’s going to be another great summer of music, come out and join us.

In closing I want to thank this year’s sponsors who make this all possible. A BIG thanks to the Alliant Energy Foundation, Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission (additional funds from the Overture Foundation), Door Creek Church & Boomerangs Resale Shop, Evjue Foundation, M&I Bank, Madison Arts Commission (additional funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board), Madison Mallards, Oak Park Place, Dennis Tiziani, Westmont Law Offices, S.C. Thanks to those who have supported us for many years and those who are sponsoring for the first time. See you at the concerts!