Council Recap (Kinda Live Blogged)

Posted February 25th, 2014 @ 6:45 PM by

Its going to be a bumpy ride.

Roll Call: DeMarb and Weier and Strausser missing/excused. Mayor gone too.

Suspension of the Rules: Done as per usual.

Honoring Resolutions: Memorial High School Principal Resolution

#2 – 149 E Wilson – referred

#3 – Petition – referred.

EARLY PUBLIC COMMENT
- Not sure which item the person is talking about, but its something that went to plan commission cuz he called several of the plan commissioners “alders”. He has very specific info about White Oaks. (Obviously item #4 now)

Mic system broken? Technical difficulties

Subeck asks about White Oaks Covenants, they are not in their files so what are the issues. He says Feb 7th email about the ingress and egress to Schroeder Rd and lack thereof. Subeck asks about water runoff – he says the eastern side it the main concern and he thinks that is resolved. White Oaks is not greatly impacted by the west side of the development.

John Schlaefer registered in support of two items. They take a 5 mintue recess to fix the mics.

RECESS
Audio to this point.

All mics dead when came back into session at 6:55.

Consent Agenda
4 – 11 public hearing items.
11 – re-refer to plan commission and recess public hearing
97 – referred to Board of Estimates.
22 and 30 approved by unanimous consent.

Exclusion list
35, 40, 55, 58

Some mics back.

64 and 69 Cheeks asked to be added as sponsor.

Motion passes for consent agenda.

Several people registered in support of 36 and 37 (union contracts)

A few more registrations on various items.

Confusion about what to do next?

PUBLIC HEARINGS
More confusion about if they passed the consent agenda.
#4 – John Dewitt, the owner, registered to speak. Says there are easments in place for the ingress/egress. Says this is on the comprehensive plan. Bob Seeger neither in support or opposition, closest resident to the parcel. Its the highest point in the city of Madison, great tree coverage, vehicles will be disruptive, it will be approved, just asks that everyone go look at it before the damage begins and see what they’ll have to do to make it work. The amount of grading is going to be a challenge. He knows the process is it will get approved (mic died). Having trouble hearing him. They have to raise their hands to speak. Public hearing closed. Resnick moves approval of recommendation of the plan commission.

Subeck asks about the water run off, do the agrees address the concerns? Rob Phillips says that Davenport currently terminates at the property and the developer wants to build a cul de sac and the neighbors say and staff confirmed that there is a drainage problem at Hiawatha and Davenport so the city will extend the storm sewer, they will do that either way, project approved or not. Additional run off should have infiltration on the lots individually with rain gardens. Subeck asks how that will be enforced.

Phair adds that this seems to be a resolved issue.

Passes

#5 & 6- Assessment districts – Resnick moves approval, Clausius second, motion passes.

#7 – Harvey St. – recess the public hearing, no registrants, referred to plan commission.

#8 – Vondron Rd – 1 registration in support, available to answer questions. No questions, public hearing closed. Resnick/Clausius adopt with conditions.

#9 – sidewall requirements
#10 – heavy traffic vehicles in industrial uses

Resnick moves to adopt 9 and 10 – motion passes.

#11 – mission houses and daytime shelters as principal uses of land. Referred back to plan commision and council on March 18th. motion passes.

Item 35
Put on the table (moved by Resnick), to deal with other items first. Motion passes.

Item 40
Buffer zones by health clinics. So far, 1 person in support, two people saying that they should be able to be on the public sidewalk, and they can already be cited for blocking access. 2 more registrants not wishing to speak, both in support.

Subeck speaks to the motion. Passes unanimously.

Item 50 – LAMP HOUSE
Report of plan commission – there is a two page document at their seats. Ledell Zellers moves amendment to the resolution, on last page of resolution, on the therefore clause, strike “as a supplement to the Downtown plan” and be it finally resolved have the staff draft resolution for March 4th meeting to consider adding ti to the downtown plan. Zellers says that they were advised that since the phrase was not included to add it to the downtown plan was not in the title, it would be more transparent and open to consider it in one week under suspension of the rules.

Mark Clear says this came about because the council can’t amend a report, they have to accept or not accept. He was in a quandry about changing the report and if it had the force of law when done, he thought not, he was unaware of plan commission actions. He thought that they should draft the langauge they got earlier this afternoon that actual amendments to comp plan and downtown plan to come later. He wants to know if when it comes back to adopt, would they then be able to amend it. Michale May says that when its a supplement to the plan, then they could have amendments.

Couldn’t hear what Lauren Cnare was trying to say. May says that you adopt a resolution or direct staff to change the report, that is how its done. Not sure what her question was.

Speakers
Verveer is suspending the rules for? To allow 10 minutes because she is chair of the committee and there is no staff report. Passes. Nan Fey allowed to speak for 10 minutes. She says committee was created last fall to get attention it needs, was formed in the middle of politically charged atmosphere, their charge was very limited. She specifically tried to make sure that they didn’t plan for specific projects and the committee honored it, others did not. She thanks the members for the expertise they brought to the group. She thanks Rebecca Cnare for the 3D models. The report is clear and well written, there was absolute consensus on the committee. They appreciated the strong direction that their work not take long, they got it done in 7 meetings. She talks about the work they did, what they reviewed and learned and about the views from the house and why they are significant. The views are essential to telling the story of the house. She says that is important to the role it could play in heritage tourism. She talks about tension between preservation and building new buildings. They found that in addition to increased tax base they needed to consider value of heritage tourism. People will travel all over the world to see Frank Lloyd Wright houses and they recognized the value that brings to our city. Land owners and interested parties knew about the work, some oppose and many attended their meetings. Keep in mind this is a policy document to guide the plan commission and council, they did not prescribe strategies. They offered alternatives and guidelines to assist future decision makers. THey think the Downtown Plan heights should be honored, they need to analyze some aspects further and permit redevelopment that reflects historic character and scale – using shadow studies etc. She says they should accept the report and not amend it. Plan commission had additional recommendations that she thinks the committee would be comfortable with, she thinks all the recommendations are consistent with committee intent. Lone vote cast against the report was from someone who thought the committee shouldn’t have been created in the first place.

Vice Chair of the Committee and Plan Commissioner, Andrewjeski. She says the views are important to her, she says they usually think about views towards the capital, but the views are also considered on the way out of the house, that is what the architects considered. She says National Preservation Act considers the views. She talks about examples of where the views are considered in and out of the buildings/landmarks.

Steve King says if they don’t tear down any buildings they will never build anything. Andrewjeski showed that the view was the historic context of the house. She talks about if they can’t protect the entire view, you can’t protect everything, but you can set aside a portion to represent a “sense of” the view. They are not protecting everything, they didn’t stipulate precisely where the views had to be.

Frank Lloyd Wright Wisconsin representative urges adoption. (Sorry, I took a break, but his testimony was on mic) He talks about the three Frank Lloyd Wright buildings that have been destroyed by the city. (Ok, now I’m really taking a break)

Bruce Bosben talking about increasing the tax base . . . you know that’s all the matters in city hall these days – everything else be damned. IN order to have services in our community, the building s in the downtown have to be tall. He says this property would be undevelopable if they approve this plan. He talks about Fitchburg not being able to repair roads because they don’t have a downtown and can’t afford the services because they have low development. He thinks Madison is coming this way (SERIOUSLY HOW DO PEOPLE SAY THIS SHIT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE? I keep hearing the promises of trickle down, but only feel trickled on.) He says that the enthusiasm to preserve the views are out of balance with the need to develop.

Several other registrants all in support – wow, actually, quite a few! Should have counted.

back to debate
Resnick reads letter from Denise DeMarb who sat on the committee. She asks them to see the balance they sought between development and preservation. She talks about the importance of the views and asks them to approve the report.

Mike Verveer (mics are back on!). He . . . guess what . . . thanks people. He talks about the work of the committee. He says the house and its surroundings are so important and special and he thinks there is huge untapped potential for heritage tourism. And thank yous, more thank yous and thank yous. So thank you. Everyone is awesome and this report is great. (giggle, sorry Mike!)

Ledell Zellers (oh dear, more thank yous). She thanks the alders to make sure the committee was balanced. She thinks that the developer and others helped come up with a balanced proposal. There is significant room on that block for development and you will be seeing some proposals in the near future.

Motion passes unanimously.

Audio this this point.

ITEM 58 – TIF
Scott Resnick in the chair.

Public Testimony
Susan Pastor says she attended all meetings until they met during the day, but took a vacation day to attend the last meeting of the committee. She supports the policy as amended and with the amendments to come from Zellers, Rummel and Subeck. She says she is grateful that the committee balanced the interests. Only one person spoke in favor that wasn’t representing a lobby – but is connected to a lobby. She says that she tries to talk to people and a small business owner was upset the equity kicker was going away. She says the one labor union voice does not represent all labor. She wishes there was more about public benefits in the policy. She also cautions them against substituting a corporate guarantee instead of a personal guarantee.

Registrants (Delora Newton, Chamber of Commerce) in support, as well as Heidi Wegleither, one against.

Amendment
Chris Schmidt changes title of resolution to “adopting the revised TIF policy” – seconded and passes unanimously.

Chris Schmidt moves amendments that are changes from CCOC, the Zellers, Rummel Amendments and one other one he made.

Clear asks what he should be looking at – Council Presidents recommended draft, deletes in blue, additions in red.

Separations
Sue Ellingson moves separation on the underwriting policy 8a.

Alder Ahrens separates 2.5 on goals, objectives and processes.

8a
They decided to vote on it, they do a roll call, King, Rummel, Skidmore, Subeck, Zellers votes no. Weier, Strausser and DeMarb excused. It is approved to separate (tho I don’t think you vote on that)

Ellingson doesn’t know council process but wants to take out “Or accomplishes rehabilitation . . . ” phase about historic districts. She says its redundant. She appreciates all the language about historic preservation, but she thinks that the whole TIF law is about additional increment, and if we don’t do that, we end up with nothing. The point of this whole paragraph is that for blighted area TIDs we create increment and that is what we will give money for. We have to have the increment or we won’t have money to rehabilitate contributing buildings or anything else.

Steve King reads it differently, he thinks it says that it has to generate increment for it to work. Olver says that that TIF statute defines what is an eligible expense and it doesn’t require that we generate increment and we often do that with infrastructure. This language is the definition of one of three types of projects. The way he reads this that it would create increment or be historic rehabilitation. If the project has a gap it could be considered for a TIF loan as long as it is otherwise TIF eligible.

Shiva Bidar supports the intent, she thinks that the mention of rehab is intended to further point to that need when we talk about rehabilitation, she thinks they should change the language to include that language in parenthesis. She thinks that takes care of the issues.

Ellingson supports that, she doesn’t know when they get to it, but she supports that. Chris Schmidt says they can do that now. Bidar makes her amendment. Ellingson seconds. Motion passes unanimously no further discussion. They vote on 8a unanimously and it is included in the main motion.

2.5 goals
Ahrens says this is likely pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act. He says the language is very broad.

Schmidt asks about interplay of 2.5 and NLRA. Attorney Zellhofer says these are just the goals, they could make a determination based on the facts at hand to determine if the violation is sufficient enough to reject the application.

Clear agrees completely with Ahrens, but thinks Zellhoefer is correct too, but thinks it will have a chilling effect. We shouldn’t have additional penalties, especially since they probably already paid fines and shouldn’t be punished against. He urges them to vote against.

Larry Palm asks about what happens if staff would want to use this to stop a project or recommend the council to ignore it. He asks if they should review and articulate the issues, but not make it that the staff makes the decision. Zellhofer says that she feels that Palm is attributing devious intent that his not there. She says if they want to know the intent they should talk to Rummel and Zellers.

Ahrens says we might be able to have it, actually using it might be in violation of the NLRA. If we denied a TIF loan, that would be the violation.

Subeck urges to vote yes to keep it. She says this is the goals and objectives that is separate from the hard and fast policy. Shouldn’t it be our goal not to give money and city resources to people who are violating labor laws. WE can consider an error in bookkeeping or other circumstances, this isn’t about if they did their time, this is about where we invest our resources. She would rather invest resources with those who respect their workers and playing by the law.

Cnare asks about other things we don’t want people to break the laws – like an environmental accident – could they turn someone down for a TIF loan for any law breaking. Zellhoefer says that they can if it is rational and consistent, don’t discriminate in an irrational way. Spending power is discretionary. It is different if it is a protected class.

Cnare asks if it would be useful or superfluous to add “and any other laws” – is that just unnecessary because we have that right anyways. Michael May (city attorney) says that anyone might be caught by this, including the city.

Rummel says that the intent was to try to rewrite what the CCOC wanted, and they talked with the city attorney and that is what they came back with. This came from the meatcutters and Metcalfes and the labor disputes. She was trying to figure out how to honor those disagreement and how do we use our money to not work against labor. Not all trades get invited, this helps raise the bard, this makes sure they get good contractors and subcontractors. (She said it better, I just missed it.)

Zellers says this document is about philosophy and values and this supports labor and businesses that have good sound labor practices.

Bidar says she appreciates the intent, trusts Ahrens understanding of the laws, she says there are violations and there are violations and we all know that. She says people make honest mistakes. She says where it is placed is too harsh. She thinks it should be in 3.1.8 in the Board of Estimates staff report. That is where they could take the information and decide if it is egregious enough. She urges them to move the language. She declines to make that motion.

Schmidt says he included it because the language was too broad before, thought the language was too narrowly defined, he agrees this is tricky in the application of that law. He says they ahve to show it is within their interest and it is about maintaining the labor piece. He says that the placement is too broad. If it catches us, it is too broad. He’s not sure how to insert it. Thinks it should not be there.

Zellers makes the amendment, delete 2.5 and add it to L under 8 so it is part of Board of Estimates staff report.

Ellingson asks what it would take. Zellhoefer says that it depends upon how big the entity is. Most of the TIF borrowers are single asset LLCs so it would be real easy since they would be created right before they apply. For Rayovac, Walmart, etc, your guess is as good as mine.

Clear asks for clarification. May repeats the motion.

Cnare seeks clarification. Do “contractors” mean construction, does that mean when we give a loan a construction team and subs have been hired, otherwise only looking at corporation we assigned the loan to. Zellhofer says it the the contractor doing the labor on the project? Zellhofer says they usually see the construction contract.

Clear says this could be overly broad or not broad enough. Why only labor law violations? They could be selling arms to terrorists. He thinks they should leave this to other authorities.

Schmidt says this is about labor peace. If they don’t have good relations with their employees that is something they should know so he is comfortable with it being known at the Board of Estimates.

Rummel suggests they consider the word “identify” like the phrase above. It is accepted as friendly.

Schmidt clarifies. Words matter. 2 amendments deep. What is the appropriate way to correct the language. May suggests they vote on that and then figure out what else they need to do.

Subeck point of order. Amendment to an amendment or a substitute. Resnick asks Zellers to restate her motion. May explains how they vote. He says they need two votes. Motion passes unanimously.

Bidar suggests that (l), they look at 5 years of contractor, developer and tenants and labor relations. Schmidt asks if staff can do this. Joe Gromacki says hes not a labor detective, if its in the New York Times they might know, he would put in the report he has no knowledge of labor disagreements.

Clear asks for point of order – this is amendment on word smiting. Passes unanimously.

Now on to the underlying motion. They stop in the middle of the vote, Palm asks a question about what they are voting on, they are voting on the amendment to place it in (l). Motion to remove has been amended. Subeck called for roll call. Question about if there is a second. There are several. Skidmore, Weire, DeMarb, Strauser absent (and Mayor).
Clear, Ellingson, Phair, Ahrens no. REsnick abstian. 11 – 4 amendment passes.

Schmidt explains they are now voting on the rest as amended.

Passes unanimously.

Now, the main motion as amended.

3.4 Amendment by Ahrens
He says he submitted one. This is from ad hoc committee in Sustainable Madison to clarify the language in sustainable design, its at their desk. Not overly prescriptive, but suggest certain characteristics. Seconded in the middle of him speaking. Clear clarifies what they are amending.

Motion to amend passes unanimously.

Discussion of underlying/main motion
Schmidt does the thank yous. Pats self on back for rushing this through. Appreciates the members of the public – Sue Pastor. Thanks the lobbyists (Chamber, Smart Growth). Thanks staff.

Bidar thanks Schmidt. They sure worked hard (arduous and detailed).

Clear thanks people too. Says review says 531 days, December 2012 is when they started review. Thanks staff, but less time than last review in 2006 – 2007. Thanks EDC and EDC subcommittee. Policy is more succinct, clearer to public and applicants about what we want to accomplish and how to move forward. Helps explain why we do TIF in the first place.

Verveer says ditto. Thanks council members. Bemoans daytime meetings when public couldn’t attend. Thank you, thank you and more thank yous. Says it is routine to make exceptions to policy, so he thinks the policy will reduce the need for policy exceptions and codifies more of the council perogative, we aren’t meddling at the negotiation table, but it underlines the important of Board of Estimates and non-BOE alders can attend those closed sessions. Ends by thanking everyone.

Ellingson says shouldn’t follow Mike when thanks yous, but goes ahead and thanks staff and Schmidt.

King calls for a recess, Subeck seconds.

Audio to this point.

5 minutes Recess

9:38, Item 35 – JUDGE DOYLE SQUARE
Public Input
Deb Archer, Convention and Visitors Bureau, thanks staff. Supports moving it forward. Thinks this is the next transformational opportunity for downtown, the last piece. They want to be at the table. Tourism is important for the community. $1.7 Billion for Dane County, 19,000 jobs, $625 in tax relief. $129M in state and local taxes. Convention business is won by differentiating us from others. We need to remain competitive. Convention goes bring in money to our city. Let the professional city staff work together to create a plan to be openly and honestly discussed. Please don’t limit what they discuss at this time. She wants to comment on the Monona Terrace is losing minimal business because of lack of hotels. The reports only track what they bid on, not the others, also not what will happen if this hotel is in place.

Tom Krejewski – He wants to speak on behalf of kids who don’t have classroom space, workers who got pay cuts and the budget process, not one wanted a publicly subsidized hotel. He is speaking on behalf of homeless sleeping under a bridge. Asks them to face inconvenient truths. Conventions are falling, go to meetings.com and others are creating virtual conference industries. Travel expenses are being cut. A downtown hotel is costly and unneeded. TIFs can fail. They have failed in other cities. Taxpayers are on hook if it fails. Madison has cold weather, poor airline connections. Don’t put other hotels out of business, work with them to fill the convention center. (Missed some)

Andy Olson – representing CA$H. Largest expenditure in the city’s history. Largest decision likely to make in service to city. Will your legacy be to create a hotel that will leave the taxpayers on the hook. City should not be competing in the hotel market place – speculative markets should be left to the private sector. CA$H asks hard questions, would you invest your money in this, look at the materials you have. Why are we ignoring hotels beyond 1200 feet beyond Monona Terrace, how will businesses benefit beyond 1200 feet. Remember Bob Dunn asked for TIF and didn’t get it. What other subsidies will be asked for next. What are the public benefits? They are unnamed. There are no caps in what the negotiators can go up to. There is no transparency to this process. The public will not know til the end of the process which will be rushed. More sunk costs, more reasons to approve it. Don’t gamble taxpayer dollars on something the private industry will not support.

Alex Gillis – Union representative for Workers United, SEIU, represents food and catering workers at Monona Terrace and at the Concourse Hotel. Missed what he was saying while looking at 6 pages of amendments that were just handed to me . . . . sorry, hold on . . .

One person went home. Second person gone or didn’t want to speak.

Susan Springman in oppostiion. Doesn’t oppose development of the two blocks or a hotel, if it is not subsidized. Urges them to talk to the local hoteliers, not national consultants. THey support hotels, but not subsidized. This seems harmless because it is just negotiation. She is a developer and she can’t imagine how in 5 months that you will get enough detail and transparency to understand what comes back. Be prepared to not have all the information and transparency. She asks them to slow down and not expect to get all the answers.

Another hotelier against, sorry, trying to figure out the amendments and if they are worthy of attention . . . .

Another hotelier against. Sales guy. yikes. Innkeepers Association. Says don’t provide unfair competition and instead spend $10M on infrastructure and he says they have added 700 hotel rooms since the report recommended 500 more rooms. He thinks that they have reached their capacity.

Another hotel expert. Concerned about unfair competition. Speed of process.

Bob Klebba points out that Edgewater developer (same guy) said he needed $16M in TIF, council turned him down, still built the poject. He owns a B&B, if he wanted subsidy you wouldn’t do it, why this?

Gary Goyke (paid lobbyist) for Alliance for Madison’s Future has alternative plan. Transportation systems seem most prevalent. Offers to meet with them.

Sorry working on uploads . . . . missed a bunch here, but its on the audio.

EXPECTED AMENDMENTS
amend 6

amend 5

amend 4

amend 3

amend 1

amend 2

Questions of Speakers
What is the enforcability of the room block, can we grow the conference business, what is the future of hotels? Gentleman says that it is hard to enforce, hard to finance. Especially if talking about a national franchise. The individual traveler will bring a higher room rate. Market downtown is interesting, dependent on Epic. Downtown market is significant amount of Epic travelers, we talk 1000 people to Epic every day.

Enthusiastic guy talks about the Hilton. Says the majority of their business does not come from the Monona Terrace, he doesn’t think the room block is an effective tool. Marsha asks what would be effective? He says doesn’t work with Monona Terrace. Rummel asks what the market is. He says that a single business uses a lot of hotels, if they changed what they do, you would lose 1000 room nights a night.

Ahrens asks about Epic. He says 40 weeks a year is how often they train. Think about that, lucky to have them. Ahrens asks if we are building a hotel for Epic or Monona Terrace. Ahrens says we can’t say that we are subsidizing a hotel for a business that has billions of dollars in profit. Ahrens asks why it doesn’t work. He’s never heard of it outside of Monona Terrace.

Ahrens asks Alex Gillis (labor union) how many people works at Concourse and how many work at Monona Terrace. He says 300 people. 300 – 400 in both places depending upon the weather. They directly depend on the business, we don’t get money for working 40 hours, but work on tips. He says their income went down, people lost their jobs, they used to get more in tips. He says they are people who are your neighbors. Don’t see caliber of events. From the workers perspective, one more subsidized hotel will mean we are in worse shape.

Cnare asks Deb Archer about the more hotel rooms and more being approved. Can you walk us through how the hotels is a deterrent to bringing conferences to Madison. Archer says they pre-qualify the conferences to have a high yield on their efforts. They package their proposals. They send them to the client, get them to a site visit. They present the city and package and see what is that is too high. She says the package is usually a single large hotel or a city with a convention center and they find a more convenient package for the meeting planner to give to their employees. They have mostly trade associations and professional organizations. They present it to their board. They need good attendance to meet their bottom line and we usually don’t measure up on convenience. If they have to ride buses they don’t want to choose that if it is a small event. For the type of events we book here they don’t need it. That is where we have an inadequate package based on our competition.

Bidar asks about a block of rooms. Do they do this other places? Archer says that there is a comparison in one of the studies. Municipally supported hotels has deliverable like the room block. They work with them to get the room block, they do their best to honor it, sometimes they have other business, but they are the anchor.

Bidar asks Gillis about Monona Terrace employees. Wouldn’t this help the Monona Terrace employees. Gillis says that the hotel will be direct competition for the Monona Terrace. Weddings are big business, this is just one more competition.

Resnick asks about other hotels coming into the area and how it impacted their business. He says that at the Councourse, it used to be a very good job, now it is decent. It is union. That is unusual. We are hurting. More state contracts than before, competition is hurting them for sure. The competition will increase with Edgewater and other hotel. They want to build something, but why a hotel. Why one more? Why is that the only thing.

Clear asks Deb Archer about the growth of business compared to what Alex was describing. Archer says they had a strong market. 2008 – 2010 was bad. Business is not flat, attendance is up. We’ve had pretty strong business considering where we are, but we see it flattening in terms of what they can bring here. They need to provide incentives. They see the project as having opportunity for new and larger business. They know people want to question the studies, but they do this all over the country and there are lots of opportunities to bring in more business. They will be strong with this project.

Clear asks why they need the room block. (Diet coke break . . . . see audio #4 57 minutes in if you really want to know what happens while I’m gone.)

Wow – check out the agenda for this meeting. Think any alders read the whole thing? Think they know what they are voting on tonight?
ginormous agenda

Rummel asks about meetings on line. Archer says it was a big fear years ago, it has complimented their business.

Rummel asks what happens when the room block expires. Archer says that the furthest convention booked is 2017 or 2018. They are presuming that we are bringing them the right business so they will still participate.

Rummel asks about the ? convention center. They run housing for the user groups at Epic. They have been very honorable in not presenting their space for other purposes. They have been respectful in not competing with public infrastructure.

Ahrens asks what happens if they don’t abide by the room block? Do we sue them? She doesn’t know, hasn’t happened.

Ahrens says that they have heard that the room block has not worked out. Archer says she doesn’t think so, not from her point of view?

King asks what happens if you coordinate a group every year – how do you get back on the list if you are off the list. For example, hotel space? I missed the full answer, but she talked about said they need to go back to places or new places.

Subeck asks about iron clad room block. She says the Hilton agreement doesn’t say that the language supports that and its is something that needs to be addressed.

Subeck says she knows conventions book years in advance, how many years until we start seeing results, 2020? When would we see additional conventions. Archer says 2 year window prior to opening. They want to make sure they sell 2 years in advance.

Cnare asks about needing the 250 room block, are none others suitable because of the convenience factor. Archer says that is what the lost business tells them.

Rummel asks if there are 10 conferences that would make a difference? They don’t like to talk about prospects. One piece of businesses they just lost SES (Engineers), they have 1,000 people, 700 run societies and they would be exposed to all those convention decision makers. Those are the types of groups. We have a senior board member here in Madison and we couldn’t get past that.

Resnick asks if Inn on the Park is too far? What is the radius? Archer says that is what they want. Inn on the Park is important, offers price differential, they hope to fill that too.

Cnare asks for a hotelier not downtown. You aren’t competing for Monona Terrace business, why does it matter to you. He says the subsidy, he thinks only a portion of business will go to Monona Terrace and there are a lot of rooms going up and the inventory affects everyone. The theory is more conventioneers means more for everyone. He disagrees on how we get there. We don’t get conventions in January, but when it is the busy season, with more hotels there is more competition.

5 more people registered in opposition.

Questions of Staff
Clear asks about the room block. Bill from Monona Terrace, he negotiated the deal with the Hilton, its worked, it always has worked. For those that say it is not working it is not his experience. The city has recourse if the Hilton doesn’t do what they said they would do. Clear asks what happens, Bill says they hold 150 rooms and as the date gets closer, they release rooms and they give a reasonable time line for them to fill the rooms. Clear asks if the conference doesn’t fill the rooms they can start to fill them. Yes, with notice to the group. Clear says that if the new hotel goes forward you want the same kind of agreement? Yes.

Cnare asks Schmiedicke (Finance Director), what would it cost the average taxpayer on their home to subsidize. $10 or $1000 a year? He says they’d need to run the numbers. Also need to measure how long the property would be off the tax rolls. He says that we are dealing with a range of numbers, not sure what the TIF support would be. They need to look at a lot of factors to estimate. Cnare says that they need that number going forward.

Bidar asks about parking, a big piece they are not talking about. What is the parking need, the cost to replace the parking? Without this project. Staff says demand is high, occupancy is 80% or more and has been for decades, expects that to increase. They want to expand 516 by a little bit, up to 600 stalls. THeir strategic plan, financial model moving forward, they need to replace 2 in 10 years and 4 in 30 years allows about $30,000 a year maximum per space they could do it for $27,000 per stall with retail. JDS was $30K per stall so that was close to what they would need.

Bidar says what is the big number? $15 – 18M for the replacement of GE ramp.

Clear says he didn’t understand Schmiedicke’s answer, the cash in TID 25 would be used first for the loan to the developer and the borrowing could be minimal to zero. Schmiedicke says there is a subsidy, a tax effect associated with that that can be calculated. If you take the balance, you would need to look at that. He says they can calculate that.

Clear asks about renovation of the municipal building, but that is not part of the project right? Yes (no mic, but head nod.)

Rummel asks about replacement of government east, we are also providing private parking. Is that in the budget. Parking staff says no. Utility can’t bear the cost of private development construction, especially since there would be no revenue from those spaces over time. That would not be sustainable. He says the above grade replacement is affordable, that is what they want to move forward with. They can’t afford anything else.

Rummel asks about the lease revenue bonds, is that separate from the parking utility? He says yes.

Zellers asks about the resolution about strengthening the central business district. She says block 100, Hub, Hampton Inn, hotel on E Wash and Webster and the report we saw before the council meeting talked about the growth in the tax base being 6.8% as compared to the rest of the city at 4.8% and we are far from stagnant, so what does that mean when we say we are stagnant. Austin says the preamble is where the language is, but if you shrink it from downtown to the square, then there has not been significant growth in that area. Austin says that maybe they should have used some other words there.

Maurice Cheeks asks about parking, what is the trend over time, if Metro ridership goes up and people using cars less, are we anticipating this going down as we plan parking. Parking guy says that the industry standards haven’t changed recently, but they could change over time. He says there is not substantial change in the last few decades. He says that ridership is up 10% over the last few years. He just wants to know about trends, will this be the same. Will we need the same amount of parking in 30 years. He says not only what we need today but growth as well. This isn’t a lot of parking in a major downtown area. He says they consistently see the garage full many days of the week. He says it is hard to imagine the need decreasing in this area. We couldn’t do anything less than what we have for sure.

Rummel asks about the project costs – are we giving the land away? Renting it for a dollar? Selling it? Will there be an appraisal? Olver says that they have relied on the 2008 appraisal, they are getting a new appraisals for negotiation, but it hasn’t been determined yet.

Rummel says Parks never sells their land, she hopes that keeping the land is something we would consider. Olver says that makes sense.

Rummel asks about #8, talking about complimenting Monona Terrace – Austin says he doesn’t have a measure, but the types of meeting spaces at the Monona Terrace they know and they know what they need. If the new hotel goes beyond that, that’ll be part of the negotiations. If they built 30,000 ft of meeting space, that would be a problem but if they served 100 – 500 users, that is a different scale and sense and that will have to be worked through. The last thing they want to do is cannibalize Monona Terrace with too much meeting space. He says that creating synergies with existing hotels is in there too, the hotel industry has been very articulate in expressing their concerns and they want to minimize the impact. City subsidized the Hilton and that increased 15% the hotels, but the market went down 5% and demand went up 6% and the market went up in a few years.

Missed some 1:41 in . . .

Rummel says that we are looking for the house before we went to the bank. Can you help me see what you see? Olver says that they have done modeling to see what the options are. There is a huge range of options and it will depend upon where the tif number lands. What they have seen so far is they can’t finance it with a brand new TID, they have two options. Use existing TID 25 or create new TID and find a donor TID. TID 25 strategy has a number of things that are attractive. TID already has cash balance built up. Instead of relying on future increment streams. He says they TID would close in 2022. From the other taxing jurisdictions they will get 10s of millions in a short period of time. TID 32 might also be used as a donor 32, instead of it being on rolls in 2042, you get it 20 years earlier. He says there is $500M in tax base in TID 32, 125M in TID 25 and you could release that and get it all on the tax rolls earlier. He thinks that the strength of TID 25 should be tapped to maximize the Judge Doyle Square and minimize the risk. THe problem is the schools want the money now.

Rummel asks about the chart in their packet – Olver says if they kept the TID open to pay the obligations, they would have $16 -17M left. THey have $27M in cash but only $16 – 17M after you pay the current obligations.

Rummel asks how do we convince the school board and Joint Review Board? Olver says no matter what it needs to go through the joint review board.

Subeck asks why they can’t hold off on approving the resolution to talk about the TID and get those ducks in a row first, what are the timing issues, why can’t we wait. Seems like there are thoughts that might be problematic, she says they are writing the offer before they know what they can afford. Olver says that two things drive it, condition of government east and continuing need to invest. Also, expensiture period fo rTID 25, ends in 2017 and so if city wants to do this, there is pressure to spend the money.

People looking nervous, they had no quorum . . . . quorum returned . . . .

Olver says that they can wait a week or two til after the brown bag lunch.

Subeck asks how much difference it would make to wait til March, some would like to know what they are doing before jumping in to negotiations before knowing what they have for resources. Austin says that is one week three weeks? He’s a project manager and his goal is to work by August 15th for capital budget and then the 2015 budget might be impossible and then the TIF calendar will be affected. Financing is something to be worked out, it has to be paid for, are there lease revenue bonds, tax credits, TIF funds. From a project manager position, they would rather not wait to have discussion with school board.

Subeck asks what they need for a time line for negotiations. Austin says there is not a norm. They have a reasonable, not a luxurious amount of time, they might say in the summer they can’t get it done. They need to have development team to get some work done, we need to work through all these issues and get to a point we have a project we understand with a series of touches at Board of Estimates every month.

Ahrens asks to refer the amendments and motions to next week. Schmidt says still questions for staff.

Rummel asks Nick about state legislature changing parking rules, how would that impact us. Zavos says that because we have a utility we are unique, the law passed the assembly, hearing this morning went well, ideally it will pass, but for this project he would refer to others. Schmiedicke says the current law doesn’t allow TIF if there are user fees to apply for the portion of the infrastructure – so nothing operated by parking utility. Having the option to use utility for parking utility structures, that might be difference between an above ground ramp and underground ramp. Its another option and puts Madison on a level playing field with other communities.

Schmidt says the statute change is pretty simple. The gap doesn’t matter at that point. Schmiedicke says you have to balance that with what they have available.

Palm asks what we will hear back from the negotiation. Some people are saying we don’t have info, and we say that is why wer are negotiating, but . . . . Austin says the goal is to have a lot more info. He says they should understand all the elements of the project. THe business terms, financing, components of the project, key design elements. When they did the Hilton they did an rfp. IN May 1998 they recommended the developer and the negotiation took place between Dec. and May, the council had the business terms and the PUD was planned the same night, they can do quite a bit if the parties work together.

Palm asks for more detail on the business plan. Austin says all the things we are talking about tonight, what it will cost, is there a gap, public and private share, land sold or leased, etc. He says he doubts it would be a legal agreement to sign. Zellhoefer says that it is common to present at term sheet that would be included in a resolution for the council. Other issues might be taken to Board of Estimates, in closed session if necessary.

Ahrens asks something. Schmiedicke says that parking utility can issue its own bonds. Change in TIF law would change that.

Subeck asks when they might see a project plan, the committee chose a developer but not a concept of a plan. When will the public see that, when will we see that? Will it be before negotiations are done? Austin says that they haven’t engaged the development team on how to negotiate until the council approves it. The question is how do they peel each layer off – bogus bullshit language not answering the question – by May they will report on significant information and they will build in public information. Seriously I’m not sure if he answered the question. Cover says that once they go through the 1st month or two will be intense design, we will be very demanding on this, this is one of the matters that makes this more complicated. The will nail down the uses and basic design. Its hard to negotiate when you don’t know what the project is.

Rummel asks about how they negotiate with Marcus while negotiating on design with us. Cover says they will be keeping them up to date on the evolving progress. Once they feel confident they will get into the details of the financial component, there will be a lot going on at once.

Subeck moves referral to March 4th meeting, second by Cnare. She would like to know option on the TID, they have a meeting on Friday where they will have the options laid out for them, she would feel comfortable after that.

Bidar urges them not to refer. We will not learn much in 1 hour, that conversation has to happen in parallel with other conversations. WE won’t talk to school board members and see what they think. Lots needs to happen, but lets just move forward. We just need to move forward. If you don’t like it just vote it down.

Phair agrees.

Ahrens moves to refer simply to have a meaningful thoughful discussion of the issue, we have about a dozen amendments that will not be easy and beginning that conversation at midnight is troublesome and doesn’t do service.

Rummel asks for city channel to record the meeting Friday. She agrees with referral, its midnight. I didn’t know the former principle, he would have said “make good decisions”. Some of these amendments they are seeing for the very first time, they should refer.

Clausius would like to go ahead, he won’t support many of the motions.

Resnick won’t support referral, not at this hour, we have faced decisions at 4am, that is not a good idea, but midnight we did sign up for the responsibility, we had the packet ahead of time, we have a lot of info in from of us, he doesn’t think the TID discussion will make a difference. He says they should adopt some of the amendments, they shoudl move forward for at least two hours and then he would re-entertain referral.

Referral fails.

Subeck asks for 5 minute recess, that fails

Subeck moves a page of motions, which I missed. There are 7 amendments. She explains them, you’ll have to listen to the audio. I’m trying to get out of here, Have to work in the morning. Been here for 7 hours. Will add the audio up to this point and not sure what I will do with the rest of the meeting. Recording it on my DVR but unlikely to have time to watch it. Hope the audio/mics keep working.


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