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Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Committee focuses on 3 possible public market locations

Monday night the city's Local Food Committee decided to focus on three possible locations for a public market.

Locations being considered include one on the north side at Northport Drive and North Sherman Avenue, on the east side at East Washington Avenue and First Street, and on the south side at the former site of Thorstad Chevrolet on Park Street.

The public market would be an indoor, year round facility that supports local food businesses.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin likes the final locations enough to consider more than one.

"They all have their own individual advantages, which is why they made the short list, but there's one thing I think we have to remember that I think is kind of exciting -- there is no rule that says you can't have more than one public market," Soglin said.

He said they would pick one of these sites first, but could develop another later.

$50k grant supports east, west Madison splash park projects

$50k grant supports east, west Madison splash park projects

Two Madison parks are set to get water-play installations after the city Parks Foundation received a $50,000 grant.

A splash park is planned for Reindahl Park, on Madison's east side, and Elver Park, on the city's west side. The city said construction on the additions, which feature interactive water attractions with spray toys and fountains, is scheduled to begin in late spring. The splash parks are expected to open in August.

The city said Monday that the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation Inc. gave $50,000 to the project. 

Funding for the $2 million project was contributed by the city of Madison, which is committed to 85 percent of the cost, plus $50,000 from the Evjue Foundation, $10,000 from American Family Insurance and $50,000 from the Madison Community Foundation.

For more information about the splash parks, visit www.madisonparksfoundation.org.

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

Dane County could make a deal on a new permanent day shelter for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Officials said the push for finding a place for the homeless is because there are so many people still trying to get on their feet after the recession.

The ideal location would be in the immediate downtown area so the homeless can have quick access to services to help them get jobs and get back on their feet. But as the real estate market bounces back, properties that fit the county's needs and fit into the $600,000 budget have been scarce.

As a result, their focus has turned to properties some distance from the city center, like the MARC East building on Lien Road.

"Part of the answer is that the homeless are everywhere in Dane County and everywhere in the city of Madison. But there are many services that are centralized in the central part of Madison, and a building like MARC would require a substantial transportation plan," Hendrick said.

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

Dane County will replace the Alliant Energy Center’s barns with multi-use pavilions in a $24 million project set to begin early next year.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday that the county will award a Middleton construction company a nearly $20.7 million contract to build the pavilions. 

The project is pending funding approval from the Wisconsin State Building Commission and the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

Middleton-based Miron Construction will build the pavilions that will create 290,000 square feet of multi-use space on the footprint of the Alliant Energy Center’s existing barns, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.

Demolition of the barns is expected to begin next year, with the project’s estimated completion in time for the 2014 World Dairy Expo.

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

Madison park project goes back to drawing board

It's back to the drawing board for those creating a vision for Madison's Public Market.

Mayor Paul Soglin said the project may not be downtown and everything is back on the table. Soglin introduced a new consultant Tuesday who's beginning a new business plan for the proposed park.

Developing a new business plan could take six to eight months.

"We want to find a place for this that fits the vision and the program of uses and activities, and actual elements that will be in the market. We want a place that supports that," said Steve Davies, senior vice president of Project for Public Spaces.

The public will be invited to weigh in on the consultant's review, which is expected to cost $250,000.

DPI announces school-funding numbers

DPI announces school-funding numbers

The Department of Public Instruction released school-funding numbers Tuesday, and 183 districts will see an increase in state aid. Another 239 districts, including the Madison Metropolitan School District, will see a decrease in state aid.

Total aid given to districts has increased by a total of $47.9 million from the last school year bringing the total school funding budget to $4.342 billion, according to a release.

Funding for Madison will drop 14.5 percent compared to last year. The district will get $49.9 million from the state, which is about $9 million less than last year.

National org honors Wil-Mar Neighborhood with planning award

National org honors Wil-Mar Neighborhood with planning award

The Williamson-Marquette Neighborhood was commended for its planning and community engagement with a national honor this week.

Mayor Paul Soglin, 6th District Alder Marsha Rummel and Marquette Neighborhood Association leaders accepted an award from the American Planning Association Friday afternoon at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center.

American Planning Association’s executive director of the Southwestern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, Larry Ward, presented the honor designating the community as a Top 10 Great Neighborhood. In a news release, the city said APA officials singled the Madison near east neighborhood out for its location, walkability and revitalization efforts after decade of decline and strong community engagement.

"Marquette has a vibrancy that is a benchmark for other neighborhoods. It is our SoHo," Soglin said, referring to the well-known neighborhood in New York City notable for its regeneration.