City of

Alder Marsha A. Rummel

Alder Marsha A. Rummel,
Council President Pro Tem

Home Address:
1029 Spaight St # 6C
Madison , WI 53703

Phone: 608-772-4555
Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

Future of the Madison Public Market in Jeopardy?

September 24, 2016 9:19 PM

Amendments to the Capital budget are before the Board of Estimates on Monday Sept 26, room 260 MMB starting at 4:30p. There are two separate amendments that remove $1.2M funding for the Madison Public Market envisioned for the area bounded by 1st, E Washington and E Johnson St. Current plans anticipate construction of the Public Market in the Washington Plaza (FKA as the Fiore Shopping Center). 

If you wish to comment on the future of the Madison Public Market in the 2017 budget, please register and speak at the Bd of Estimates meeting on Monday or send an email to, be sure to include your address. 

I have served on the Madison Local Food Committee since its inception five years ago and worked with a talented committee that includes Alders Larry Palm and Amanda Hall, City Economic Development staff, the Mayor's office and consultants to move this idea forward. I have been in support of this concept through two Mayors and three planning directors! We are getting so close to having a real project that will strengthen our local and regional food economy and enhance opportunities to export products to other parts of the country and the world.  I hope you will join me in supporting this important effort.

The Public Market's goal is to provide low-cost and low-barrier opportunities to start businesses for women, people of color, immigrants and others and bring together food related sectors from sustainable agriculture, artisanal processing, wholesaling and food servicing. The business plan projects that an estimated 35 new businesses will be incubated at the Public Market within the first five years.

We have used the City's equity toolkit to ensure that we have effective and meaningful outreach to future vendors. The Committee adopted the concept of a public market district that will connect to the north side food innovation corridor and city wide food system assets.  We have done extensive outreach including surveys of residents and potential vendors. We have met with community partners and held focus groups. We are putting in place an organizational structure that will eventually operate and manage the Public Market as a nonprofit. We are currently working on a Market Ready program to provide technical assistance through micro-enterprise grants to help prepare future vendors to participate once it opens.  And we have been partnering with Dane County Farmers Market, FEED Kitchen,  Garver Feed Mill, Madison College, UW Extension, Latino Chamber, UW Business Development Center, WWBIC, Common Wealth Development and the Friends of the Madison Public Market.  We are building momentum.

The Executive budget allocates $1.2M in the 2017 Capital budget to provide funds for costs associated with land acquisition, planning, site preparation and construction of the Madison Public Market. The 2018 Capital Improvement Plan/CIP shows $11.8M for construction using GO borrowing and outside sources. The goal of the project is to facilitate the retention, development and expansion of food based businesses and related employment. 

The Public Market was first included in the 2008 Adopted CIP. A business plan was authorized in 2013 and completed in 2015. In the spring of 2016 resolutions were approved for consulting and architectural design services to continue planning efforts for the Public Market. These expenses were funded through a previously awarded UDAG grant (the remaining balance of the grant award is $744,000). As proposed in the Executive Budget, funding for the project will be split between GO Borrowing (33%), federal funds (48%), and private contributions (19%). 

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