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Thursday, December 18, 2014  |   Madison, WI: 21.0° F  
CITIZEN DAVE: Thoughts and ideas about city building from Madison's former mayor
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Citizen Dave: Time to move forward on the Edgewater
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The Edgewater was a long, bruising battle. But it now should be over.
Credit:Hammes Company

We're going to suspend Ideas Friday this week to deal with yesterday's decision by the Court of Appeals to side with a lower court ruling in favor of how the city of Madison handled the Edgewater decision.

Fred Mohs, the millionaire opponent of the project who didn't want his view of the lake from the front porch of his mansion to be obstructed, lost yet another round in court in what he once admitted to me was a lawsuit without a chance of success.

Look, Fred's not a bad guy. I like him personally and he deserves credit for investing in and maintaining his downtown properties to a high standard when others were abandoning the central city. But it's time for Fred to admit that he fought as hard as he could but lost, and to work with the city and the developer to address what legitimate issues he still has.

It's also time for the Madison Common Council to step up and make good on its earlier financial commitments to the project and reinstate the full funding for tax incremental financing. After all, the money is a loan, not a grant, and will be paid back over time. The funding is going to the public amenities for the rooftop terrace, and it accounts for less then half of the cost of those amenities. The developer is picking up the rest.

The Edgewater was a long, bruising battle. But it now should be over. Hundreds of construction trades people can get the work they badly need, the city's tax base can be expanded, and a tired yet iconic property can be revitalized.

I can pretty much guarantee you something. In about five years, Madisonians will be enjoying the new Edgewater and nobody will remember what all the fuss was about. I'll even be happy to buy Fred a gin and tonic on the pier.

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