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Former City of Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz

Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's Blog


No Water Hazard Here

January 5, 2010 2:13 PM

A few years ago, developer Dennis Tiziani proposed the development of land he owns next to the city's Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park. I was concerned about it because our park is an important part of a much larger wetlands complex protected by the city, county and state. Development too close to it could pose threats to water quality and other natural values.

We worked with Dennis and eventually arrived at a development plan that was responsible. Still, I always felt that the land should be preserved. Well, as of today, it looks like it will be. This afternoon we were able to announce that after months of negotiations, we've arrived at a purchase price for the 23 acres. The cost will be divided between the city's general parks land acquisition fund, which comes from developer fees, and the state Stewardship Fund. No general tax dollars will be needed.

This adds to a 2007 conservation purchase of 259 acres in the same area. That was the single largest conservation land purchase in the city's history. In the long-run, all of this is likely to have a positive impact on lake water quality, as healthy wetlands play an important role in filtering water that runs off from surrounding land and eventually finds its way into the Yahara chain of lakes. And, protecting these wetlands helps us prevent flooding in the surrounding area.

The final deal is still subject to an appraisal by the state, which should be done by spring. But if all goes as expected, we'll add an important piece to our Cherokee Marsh Conservation Park, and the land will be preserved forever.

Dennis Tiziani is a former professional golfer and the father-in-law of top tour pro Steve Stricker. He's also a really good guy who has made a real contribution to his community by selling his land at a fair price for long-term conservation.



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