Build the City
August 31, 2009 12:25 PM
Tomorrow I'll introduce my proposed capital budget for 2010. This capital budget is about building the city. It's about responding to the recession not by pulling back, but by moving forward and investing in our community.
No doubt two proposals will get a lot of attention and rightly so. Between the new Central Library and the Edgewater Hotel project, we will be creating 1,000 family supporting construction jobs, adding $125 million to our tax base and increasing annual tax revenues by $1.5 million. And that doesn't count our ongoing investments in street reconstruction, water main replacements, parks and more.
Now is the time to invest. We will never get construction bids as good as the ones we should see next year and people need jobs right now. Moreover, this is about positioning ourselves to take full advantage of the economic recovery as it comes.
Finally, this is about building a healthy city. The Edgewater will dramatically increase public access to the lake, revitalize a landmark hotel, add badly needed hotel rooms downtown, and create exciting new public spaces. The new Central Library will be part of a full block redevelopment that will create even more activity and attractive public spaces. And a city that loves learning as much as we do needs a facility that is up to date. Modern libraries are more than just shelves of books. They are civic spaces where people go to learn and share ideas. Madison's Central Library should be the intellectual ground zero of a community whose economy and culture is largely built on education.
So my capital budget is now in the hands of the City Council. I will be a vigorous advocate for these projects and every project in my budget. It's time to move forward.