Try 3 months for $3

The Madison City Council approved Tuesday purchasing two properties that would add nearly 450 feet of shoreline to Olin Park, including the Wisconsin Medical Society headquarters and parking lot, shown above, for $5.5 million.

Madison’s Olin Park on the shoreline of Lake Monona will expand after the City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of 3.65 acres of land for $5.5 million.

The city has wanted to buy the two properties at 330 and 342 E. Lakeside St. for years to add to the 47.12-acre Olin Park on Madison’s South Side, saying the parcels would improve lake access. Olin Park is adjacent to the 64.28-acre Turville Point Conservation Park.

The two properties approved for purchase include 450 feet of shoreline, a two-story office building and parking lot.

The city seized the rare opportunity to buy the prime parkland after the owner, the Wisconsin Medical Society, approached Madison officials.

The two parties negotiated a deal for months, eventually agreeing on a price about 10 percent more than the appraised value. Money for the purchase will not come from property taxes but from the citywide Parkland Impact Fee District, a fund developers pay into if they do not dedicate parkland as part of their projects.

Tuesday was the last day on the City Council for Ald. Amanda Hall, 13th District. Hall, who was first elected in 2015, is not seeking re-election to her post in April and resigned early because she bought a house outside of her Far East Side district.

  • The City Council also agreed to allow developer Baum Revision to include dozens of “micro-lodging” units in the redevelopment project of the Garver Feed Mill on the East Side.

After failing to meet a June 30 deadline to provide city-required documents showing Baum could finance the micro-lodges, the Chicago-based developer’s rights to that component were terminated.

Tuesday’s approval, which amends a development agreement between the city and Baum, returns the rights to build micro-lodges, which would be used for short-term rental units, on property adjacent to the Garver Feed Mill. The new deal requires the developer to construct at least 35 micro-lodges, with the option of doing up to 50.

Baum is restoring the historic feed mill for food production uses and wellness businesses. The building was originally built in 1906, and restoration work is expected to be complete in the summer.

  • In other action, the council approved transferring $250,000 from existing funds to create a pilot program to install sewer backup valves in older houses that lack such safety features.

Homeowners who will be affected by two street reconstruction projects in the Tenney-Lapham and Lake Edge neighborhoods this year can apply for a rebate to install a backup valve on their privately owned sewer lateral, which connects homes to the public sewer main in the street. The city will pay 75 percent of up to $1,500 of the cost of installing the valves, which are meant to prevent sewage backup during flooding events.

  • Council members also referred a proposal to use $165,000 to pay for additional security guards at a troubled Far West Side housing project for the homeless to the body’s Feb. 26 meeting.

The Finance Committee passed the Tree Lane apartment security proposal last month. It was pushed back so a more comprehensive plan, with more money for support services, can be included and discussed later this month.

The new $11.7 million, 45-unit apartment building — Madison’s second housing-first project — houses 45 chronically homeless families. It has been plagued by concerns over a high number of police calls related to fights, gunfire, shoplifting and other disturbances.

Politics Email signup

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.