In the Mifflin neighborhood meeting last night, stakeholders addressed plans for the Block Party. The committee also spoke on housing developments in the area.[/media-credit]

A local neighborhood committee met to make future plans for the Mifflin Street Block Party and continued a discussion on the Overture Center for the Arts’ budget Thursday night.

At a meeting of the Mifflin Neighborhood Association, Larry Warman, district chair, said Capitol Neighborhoods Inc. plans to coordinate with Mayor Paul Soglin’s office to organize a meeting to discuss the Mifflin Street Block Party, which will also include the University of Wisconsin Police Department and neighborhood residents.

Warman said he hoped to get student residents living on Mifflin Street involved in this meeting.

“I’d like to see students on Mifflin participate, so they can be the ones responsible and accountable for what happens there.” Warman said.

He said he hopes to see less police and overall expenses put toward the event. He said he believes the party is currently set up to arrest too many people and does not feel this is what the party should be for. Over 400 people were arrested at the 2012 block party, he said, which was significantly more than the previous year.

Warman also said changing the event’s location has been suggested, but this has yet to be discussed and determined. While he would like to see changes made for the 2013 Mifflin Street Block Party so that less of the city budget is spent on it, he said it is unlikely. It is more important to keep the event safe, he said.

The Overture Center’s 2013 budget was also addressed at the meeting. Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the Overture’s budget amendment will provide the Overture Center with an additional $9,000 above Soglin’s proposal. He said it still cuts $100,000 from the original budget, but is an improvement that he hopes many City Council members will follow through with.

“I’m pretty optimistic about the budget,” Verveer said.

Scott Kolar, member of the Mifflin Steering Committee, talked about development proposals of new apartment complexes in the Mifflin Street neighborhood, including two recent proposals made by Scott Faust on the corner of North Bassett and West Dayton Streets as well as on North Frances Street. 

He said the city staff has some issues with the 12-story Frances Street proposal, but that it is still to be discussed at the Steering Committee meeting next week.

He said the staff had problems with the North Frances Street proposal because it is such a narrow building on a small property, includes no motor vehicle parking and may serve as a safety hazard.

Rick Broughman, CNI member, said there is potential for security problems in the back of the building and more lighting may be needed before the plan is approved.

Another concern, Kolar said, is that the side of the building facing Dotty Dumpling’s Dowry will require an elevator, which will not be as appeasing a sight from the north side.

A previous proposal for the renovation of 125 N. Bedford St. into a four-story apartment complex was shut down by the City Council, Kolar said, mainly because of the materials that were proposed to use in constructing the building.

Verveer said the 125 N. Bedford St. proposal could be revisited in a year with the same plan, after the downtown plan will be more established. He said even though it was a mostly contested vote, he was torn in the decision.

The next City Council and Steering Committee meetings will be Tuesday, Nov. 13.