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City Council members offer modest initial changes to mayor’s capital budget

City Council members offered modest initial changes — and no new funds to close a financing gap for the Madison Public Market — to Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway’s proposed, record $368.4 million capital budget for 2023.

The initial set of 10 amendments to be considered by the city’s Finance Committee on Wednesday deliver $250,000 to support accessible taxi cabs, $200,000 for small business grants in a tax incremental financing (TIF) district on State Street, and $850,000 for citywide flood mitigation.

Two other amendments would delay engineering projects and save money in 2023.

But the proposed amendments include no additional money to help close a $5.2 million financing gap revealed early this month that will, at minimum, delay construction from November until early spring and could threaten the Public Market project altogether.

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The mayor and council members, however, will get another chance to offer amendments during final consideration of the capital and operating budgets in November.

Alds. Erik Paulson and Charles Myadze to borrow $250,000 next year to establish a grant program for private, licensed taxi companies to purchase accessible vehicles to increase the availability of “on-demand” accessible cabs in the city. The amendment directs staff to design a plan in early 2023 for council approval with implementation in the second half of the year.

Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, and two others proposed another $200,000 in TIF borrowing to provide additional funding to meet demand for small business grants. The funds could also be used to support planning activities and furniture repairs and upgrades on State Street.

Bus Rapid Transit, library, housing drive Madison mayor's record $368.4 million capital budget

And Ald. Bill Tishler, 11th District, proposed spending $850,000 to design and construct culvert replacement on Orchard Street and extend a culvert through the drainage way, as well as fund maintenance path construction and restoration work within the damaged Robin Greenway.

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