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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, January 27, 2023

Common Council approves review for Overture Center

The Common Council voted down an amendment to the current Operating Budget to review a potential ownership model for the Overture Center during Tuesday's meeting.


The amendment would have appropriated $25,000 to hire a third party to review the proposed operating model for the Overture Center. The focused model in question suggests public ownership and private non-profit operation.

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Many community members were concerned that the focused model was the only model under review. Madison resident Chris Thunker said he wants ""all the options on the table.""


Other potential models for the Overture Center include private ownership and operation or public ownership and operation.

Some considered the funds excessive. Davin Pickell, Local 60 Union Representative, said ""$25,000 seems a whole lot of money to evaluate a plan without a plan.""


Ald. Bridget Maniaci, District 2, saw a third party review as an opportunity for the council to make an informed decision on the Overture Center.


""To leave this stone unturned is an incredible detriment to our city,"" Maniaci said. ""We have to continue moving along.""


Also in support of the amendment, Ald. Lauren Cnare, District 3, said she wants another set of eyes to review the model because it is ""so difficult to understand where the truth lay.""


Of the three alders who voted against the amendment, Tim Bruer, District 14, considered the review ""a little too late.""


""We're trying to analyze the Titanic as it's sinking,"" Bruer said.


The motion failed by one vote.


In another effort to gather information on the Overture Center, a different amendment called for $25,000 of the budget to conduct a third party review of the structural integrity and conditions of the building. This amendment passed Tuesday.


Mortenson Construction will conduct an on-site review of the building to assess lighting, plumping and building structure.


Ald. Chris Schmidt, District 11, considers the review, ""another piece of information in our hands before the grand showdown [of  the Overture].""


The council aims to determine a final model for the Overture Center by the end of the year.


The Common Council also passed a temporary glass-free zone on State Street during Freakfest, a motion passed annually.

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