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Madison official seeks repayment

Madison’s common council president wants city leaders to crack down on a mixed-use project developer that has fallen behind on loan repayments to the city.

Monroe Neighbors LLC, Madison, the developer of the Monroe Commons project, has an outstanding debt of $182,727.99 due last August for tax incremental financing provided for the project, according to the city. A payment of $139,798.45 is due in August.

Council President Tim Bruer said the developer is ignoring its responsibility to Madison taxpayers and the agreed upon payment plan.

TIF districts let municipalities borrow money to subsidize developments and pay for utility and street work that serves projects. Communities then use new taxes generated by the projects to pay off the debt.

When Monroe Commons received approval in 2005, the developer agreed to a repayment schedule that would turn around roughly $2.9 million by 2012.

David Keller, a principal for Monroe Neighbors, was unavailable for comment.

Assistant City Attorney Anne Zellhoefer said she has been speaking with Keller since September, and said the developer claims not to have the money to make the payments.

Zellhoefer declined to discuss what legal options Madison has to recoup the money.
Other TIF projects have run into payment deficiencies, Zellhoefer said, but developers usually cover the expense out of pocket.

If Madison does nothing, Bruer said, it sets a dangerous precedent.

— Paul Snyder

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