Creation of area grocery store passes through Board of Estimates

Madison’s Allied Dunn’s Marsh neighborhood residents are one step closer to getting an area grocery store after Monday’s Board of Estimates meeting.

“I happen to live in a great neighborhood with no grocery store,” Cassandra Sonko, president of the Allied Co-op, said during public testimony at Common Council’s Jan. 21 meeting. “It’s a health issue that has moved to a health crisis.”

In a unanimous decision as part of its consent agenda, the city’s Board of Estimates approved a recommendation to authorize Mayor Paul Soglin to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP), which will allow potential developers up to $300,000 in funding assistance from the city to build an affordable grocery store.

The funding assistance would not be a blank check, but rather in the form of a low-interest or forgivable loan, according to Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4.

Verveer added that although Board of Estimates approved the recommendation, there are still many more steps in the process before any developers for the grocery store project receive a green light from the city to build.

“The Economic Development Committee will take up the recommendation this [Wednesday], followed by the full Common Council at the meeting on Feb. 24,” Verveer said.

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