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As the Edgewater turns

By Tom Fetters

It’s becoming the Wisconsin construction industry’s version of “As The World Turns,” the soap opera that finally ended its 54-year run on daytime TV in September.

The seemingly never-ending saga that is the Edgewater Hotel redevelopment project in Madison took yet another twist this week when, as The Daily Reporter’s James Briggs reported, the city’s Plan Commission referred a vote to its Jan. 10 meeting on an outline of how and when members of the public would be able to use the hotel.

As has become the norm with the Edgewater project, even such a mundane action is filled with drama. In this week’s episode, as Briggs reported, a misunderstanding between Alderwoman Bridget Maniaci, whose district includes the Edgewater, and some city staff members resulted in the public access agreement being listed on the commission’s agenda as being up for a vote, not merely scheduled to be kicked ahead to January.

This delighted the proposed project’s developer, Brookfield-based Hammes Co., which had visions of the project moving forward with uncharacteristic speed. But it raised the hackles of members of the public, who want a say in the access agreement because they’re helping to pay for the project, and Alderman Michael Verveer, who hadn’t had a chance to see the agreement.

“I’m not saying it’s a violation of the Open Meetings Law, but it clearly violates the spirit of the Open Meetings Law,” Briggs quoted Verveer as saying.

As the episode drew to a close, we’re left to wonder: Will the Plan Commission vote on the access agreement Jan. 10, or delay a decision until later? Will the developer clear another of the countless hurdles and move closer to getting shovels in the ground? Will members of the public go along with the agreement, or force another project delay?

Stay tuned!

Tom Fetters is a copy editor at The Daily Reporter. He offers the following list as proof of his thoughts:

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