Both fans and opponents of Edgewater redevelopment project are probably happy just to have the dang debate over. And though the Common Council's May 18 approval of various project elements may have been the most important, more bodies must give approvals.
This includes the Joint Review Board, a somewhat obscure five-member body that must approve the expansion of the project's tax incremental district. The vote could bring the board unprecedented attention. "Usually nobody attends these meetings," says Ald. Mike Verveer.
The board only meets as needed and probably won't take up the Edgewater proposal until September, says Joe Gromacki, the city's TIF coordinator.
Might opponents try to leverage a last-minute vote against the project? "I'm sure you can lean on them," Gromacki jokes, but he says the group must base its decision strictly on financial arguments. "This isn't going to be about whether it's too tall or too close to the lake."
The board is composed of representatives from the city, the county, Madison College and the Madison School Board, as well as a citizen appointed by the mayor. Opposition could come from the school district, which like other taxing entities loses revenue due to TIF projects.
Members of the public are allowed to speak at meetings, which could be a problem. "In the past, those have been brief statements," says Gromacki. "If this ends up being like the [13-hour] council meeting, I have a feeling the Joint Review Board is going to have to set some limits."