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Final budget amendments pitched by Madison Common Council

By Paul Snyder

Madison Common Council members on Thursday added 13 amendments to the city’s capital budget, aimed at decreasing some of the city’s spending next year.

Amendments include another attempt to knock out the $16 million in tax incremental financing over the next two years for a proposed redevelopment of the Edgewater Hotel. The Board of Estimates struck down a similar amendment last month.

The amendments also take a stab at removing all the money set aside for a Central Park project, as well as demanding a guarantee for tax credits and $4 million in private financing for a proposed new Central Library before signing any construction agreements.

After months of review, city leaders are trying to get some control of the spending allotted in the 2010 budget. City Comptroller Dean Brasser said the total spending Mayor Dave Cieslewicz originally proposed in Madison’s 2010 capital budget amounted to $185.8 million. Of that, $99 million would be borrowed money.

In its budget amendments in October, the Board of Estimates added roughly $7.5 million in spending to the capital budget, with $4 million of that coming from borrowed money, Brasser said.

The final capital budget amendments Common Council members offered Thursday do far more subtracting than adding, but even if they all pass, Brasser said the impact on the city’s tax levy would be a reduction of $1.8 million. That’s barely a drop in the operating budget’s spending, which carries a tax levy impact of $173.4 million.

Alderman Michael Schumacher said city taxpayers need some protections.

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