Ridgeside Co-op


In general, the co-op is responsible for maintaining all the operational systems involved with the co-op’s property, such as the electrical wiring, plumbing, furnaces, water heaters, water-softeners, etc. Maintenance of these physical systems is one of the major continuing challenges faced by the co-op (just as it is for a private homeowner).

Since the co-op provides an individually-controlled furnace and water heater for each co-op unit, members pay for the gas & electricity usage of their own apartment.

Co-op members must supply their own stove and refrigerator for their apartment; these appliances, however, can often be purchased from the member moving out of the co-op.

While the co-op pays the entire water & sewer bill for the property and provides laundry hook-ups in two basements, the co-op does not own the washers or driers.  These appliances are available in 2 of the basements and maintenance/replacement costs for them are generally split amongst the members that use the facilities.

Members are responsible for decorative matters within their own apartment, including painting, carpets, window coverings, etc.

All members need to attend and participate in the monthly meetings of the co-op’s board of directors to ensure consistent communication throughout the co-op and the best decision-making possible on behalf of the co-op. Attendance is also imperative for any special meetings called, of course, as these will deal with important matters, such as interviewing a potential new member.

Because running the co-op entails a lot of different tasks throughout the year, each co-op member is required to contribute five hours of labor each month.  This monthly contribution of work is another key component ensuring that Ridge Side Co-op’s monthly carrying charges stay within the reach of people with low and moderate incomes and that Ridge Side Co-op continues to meet its mission to provide affordable housing within the Willy Street neighborhood.

Co-op work that needs to be accomplished includes the everyday variety throughout the year, such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, filling water-softeners, changing furnace filters, taking minutes at co-op meetings, keeping the co-op’s financial books, serving on co-op committees, etc. Larger maintenance projects, such as refreshing the buildings’ painted trim or re-building a porch, are planned to take advantage of the milder temperatures experienced during Spring, Summer and Fall in Madison.