The Board of Estimates convened Wednesday to formally discuss Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s proposed 2016 Capital Budget, focusing on ongoing projects such as the Madison Municipal Building renovations and a new library project.
The 2016 proposal totaling $295 million provides $4.8 million in funding for renovations of the municipal building and reauthorizes $3 million in borrowing.
The budget includes $133 million in borrowing overall, though Soglin told the board, “I did the best I could with what we had.”
The aging municipal building, estimated to cost about $30 million to renovate, has not been refurbished in decades, city officials said.
The project’s cost has been a point of contention among city leaders, with some worried about delays due to lack of funding.
City Engineer Rob Phillips told the board the project has, in fact, slowed down and is now behind schedule. Developers have the project in its schematic design phase and expect to complete designs in November, according to Phillips.
“We are further and further into the design process, and hope to begin construction soon,” Phillips noted, saying construction will finish in 2019.
Another effect on the municipal building construction will be the removal of the U.S. Post Office, which is currently housed there.
A funding concern the board also discussed was the Pinney Neighborhood library project, which will develop a new library building at a cost of $10.7 million.
However, $1.75 million comes from donors to the Madison Public Library Foundation and will not be reflected in the city budget. During the meeting, officials expressed concerns about delays to the project if there were insufficient funds.
The Common Council has scheduled a Sept. 15 public hearing to discuss the proposed budget, and plans to pass the budget in mid-November.