Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


City gives lukewarm approval to building project

By summer 2009 residents and newcomers to Madison will have
a new place to live, as the City Council gave an unenthusiastic final approval
to the Lake Park Apartment building in the Bassett Neighborhood Tuesday.

The conversation among alders and residents was similar to
past discussions about the 40-unit building to be located where apartment
buildings at 451 W. Wilson and 315 S. Bassett streets currently exist.

“It’s just simply the mass,” Ald. Brenda Konkel,
District 2, said referring to the building’s size, a popular complaint at the
meeting. Konkel was the only alder to vote against final approval because of
the conflicting opinions. “Sure the building looks nice, but too big is
too big,” she said.


Those strongly in favor of the new four-level apartment building
with a parking spot allocated for every unit thought the building would bring
an older, professional and much-welcomed demographic to the area.

“This is a very suitable site for quality rental,”
said Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, who was uncharacteristically halfhearted
about supporting the new apartments, set to break ground this summer. “I
personally don’t think I would be excited living across the street from

Verveer touched on a major concern from Bassett neighborhood
resident, Jan Sweet, who also represents Cities Without Cars. Sweet repeatedly
appeared before city committees, calling for adding a community room to the
building and eliminating the parking garage completely, among other additions
he said every committee has failed to address.?

“It is unfortunate several neighbors cannot support the
project,” Verveer said. “I just don’t think there will be tons of
motor vehicle traffic through the area on a regular basis.”

Recuperating from a brutal winter snow season, Madison
Streets Coordinator Al Schumacher briefed alders on the state of the
department’s budget after dealing with more than 100 inches of snowfall this

Schumacher requested a $300,000 increase for overtime wages
to cover paychecks for city employees who worked 21-hour workdays plowing snow
and sweeping the 15,000 tons of sand dumped off the streets.

He said the streets division is also in debt from hiring out
snow plows to keep the streets clear when the division was overworked and

“In a normal winter we plow five times. This winter we
plowed 14 times,” Schumacher said.

The streets division will also receive $500,000 in aid from
Federal Emergency Management Agency for storms that hit Madison in early
February, Schumacher said.

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