Alder Mark Clear
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service
Midtown Police District Delayed Again
I am troubled to report that there are more delays for the planned Midtown police station. Despite a clear directive from the council that construction should start in 2016, it was revealed earlier this month that the start date has slipped by a year, to mid-2017, with an opening sometime in 2018. The Mayor is proposing to move that back even further, to the beginning of 2018, opening in 2019, and claims this is only a 3-month delay.
For several weeks, my colleagues and I have been seeking answers on why the schedule is delayed and why the council was not informed. Many of you attended briefings by MPD in April and in June on the station design, and things seemed to be on track.
Despite denials that the Mayor ordered a delay, this memo from June reveals that he did exactly that, without informing the public or the council.
We've seen this movie before; in 2015 the project was also quietly delayed and we were told this was due to staff shortages in the facilities management section. So the council added capacity in the 2016 budget, and made it clear that construction should start in 2016, as I said in my blog almost a year ago.
I'm very frustrated that one person's opposition continues to secretly hold this project back, year after year, despite demonstrated need by MPD, strong support from the public, and a clear mandate from the Council. Instead, it will now be at least 3.5 years after the city bought the building (2014) that construction will even start.
I have proposed a budget amendment that would at least get us back to the earliest possible start date of mid-2017. I also don't want us to have to fight over this for the fourth year in a row next year as we consider the 2018 budget. To add transparency and accountability, I am proposing regular reporting to the Council on the project's schedule and that the Mayor's travel budget ($57,000) be docked by one day's value ($156.16) for each day that construction is not underway by June 1, 2017. I realize this looks petty, but I'm trying to find a way to ensure the Mayor does his job.
Ald. Mark Clear
I welcome your questions and comments about this or any other city issue. Please contact me at email@example.com or 608-695-5709.
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