In a short and quickly run session, the Madison City Council officially approved this year's Mifflin Street Block Party for April 29, 2006.
In order to avoid last year's controversy, alders unanimously voted for a glassware ban on West Mifflin Street from 10 a.m., April 29, 2006, until 6 a.m. the next day, thus setting the party for the 29th.
Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said last year's controversy was "unfortunate," but this year there is "no problem at all" having the event April 29.
"It doesn't matter to the city when the party happens just as long as we know in advance," Cieslewicz said, pointing to the weeks of debate between city officials, Madison police and the Associated Students of Madison last year.
"The problem was once we figured out what was going on, it was too late to adjust the police schedules … so we got into some pretty heavy overtime [pay]," Cieslewicz said.
Traditionally the party is held on the first Saturday in May, however both last year's and this year's party fell on the university's unofficial study day before spring final exams. The mayor officially moved the party to April 30, only eight days before the event last year, which cost the city thousands of dollars in overtime pay for police officers not budgeted to work.
But with bygones being bygones, Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4 — whose district calls the block party home — said he is satisfied with this year's date being set for April 29.
"I'm very pleased that the council … indirectly gave final approval to there being no doubt that the Mifflin Street Block Party will be the last Saturday in April," he said, adding no one on the council wants to relive last year's debate.
Verveer also said both last year's and this year's date change was "definitely the best" decision.
Similarly, Ald. Austin King, District 8, said he is happy to avoid last year's controversy.
"I'm excited that there's a lot less tension in the air," he said, noting arguments between alders and ASM representatives last year. "No controversy is a good thing [for the party]."
Additionally, the council unanimously approved the demolition of 437-439 W. Mifflin St., and the reconstruction of a new house on the property in the same image and likeness of other Mifflin residences. A second four-unit house will also be constructed in the back of the property at 441-443 W. Mifflin St.