The Madison Common Council passed the 2011 Capital Budget late Tuesday night, approving an amendment to increase funding for the Central Park while voting down an amendment concerning Edgewater Hotel labor agreements.
The council approved an amendment to allocate an additional $2.2 million to fund the Central Park on Madison's near-east side, along East Wilson Street and between South Ingersoll Street and South Few Street. The funds would move a railroad track running through the park.
Scott Thornton, of the Marquette Neighborhood Association, said developers have tried to work around the tracks, but the park is not cohesive without moving them.
Ald. Jed Sanborn, District 1, said there is no shortage of parks in Madison and the funding is not ""essential.""
""This is basically something that people want to see,"" Sanborn said. ""It is not something that is greatly needed.""
Another amendment proposed for the Central Park was to add $1.9 million to develop Brearly Square within the park. This proposal did not pass.
The council passed a $5.6 million water meter reader project to allow Madison's Water Utility to install readers. The system will track water usage electronically instead of requiring meter readers. This also allows consumers to monitor their water usage, which the city hopes will conserve water.
The Common Council also agreed to keep $5 million for a land banking fund. Land banking will give the city the ability to purchase funds for development in the future.
Labor stipulations for the Edgewater Hotel renovations were also on the table. The council voted against an amendment to allow the city to put restrictions on labor agreements between Edgewater developer Hammes Co. and their employees.
Hammes Co. and the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin previously negotiated a Community Development Agreement, but council members said they want to make sure the labor agreement is fair.
""It's all about ensuring that we have good paying, quality jobs from this $16 million project,"" Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said.
Edgewater Development Director Amy Supple said Hammes Co. has not released the Community Development Agreement between Hammes Co. and the construction company because the project has yet to begin.
Steve Breitlow, of the Building and Construction Trades Council of South Central Wisconsin, said he is happy with the agreement and said it was ""built out of respect and honesty.""
Council members said they may discuss Edgewater labor issues further at a meeting devoted to policy instead of the budget.
The Common Council will reconvene Wednesday night to discuss the 2011 Operating Budget.