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Falk announces BUILD grant recipients for downtown revitalization

For more information contact:

Sharyn Wisniewski (608) 267-8823
Steve Steinhoff (608) 266-4270


Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today announced the Dane County communities selected to receive grants this year through its Better Urban Infill Development, or BUILD, program.

Waunakee, Marshall, Cambridge, the Town of Madison and the City of Madison rated tops among 14 grant applications submitted by communities throughout Dane County. The grants provide money for communities to plan for downtown revitalization and support efforts to keep older neighborhoods vibrant.

"I created this program with the hope that it would help our wonderful cities, villages and towns create the vibrant downtown atmospheres that make their communities so special," said Falk. "I wasn't sure what to expect. I am very pleased to say the response has been overwhelming."

Over the last three years, Dane County has funded 22 projects in 16 communities throughout the county.

"Healthy downtowns and neighborhoods make our communities vital, attractive places to live and visit," said Falk. "I'm really excited to see the neat efforts all across the county, from Black Earth, to Madison, to Cambridge."

The largest grant recipient was the Village of Waunakee, which received a grant of $35,000 to develop a strategic plan for its downtown. "We were very impressed with the level of business community leadership and involvement in downtown revitalization," Ron Norris, President of the Village of Black Earth and Chair of the BUILD Advisory Committee, said of the Waunakee proposal. MORE

Other BUILD grants were

$20,000 for a downtown plan in Marshall,

$12,000 for downtown planning in Cambridge,

$12,000 to develop design guidelines that will shape growth along Williamson Street in Madison, and

$11,000 to the Town of Madison to develop a strategy for redevelopment of 10 blighted and underutilized sites.

The BUILD program was initiated by County Executive Falk in 1998 to help communities make better use of their existing infrastructure, and preserve adjacent farmland. The plans are designed to encourage walking, biking and transit, to locate homes, jobs and shops in close proximity, and to enhance neighborhoods and business districts. Funding for BUILD comes from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and County general revenue.

Downtown Revitalization/Infill

Village of Waunakee

Total Project Cost: $50,000 BUILD Grant: $35,000

Contact: Lisa Pertzborn-Whiting, Waunakee Chamber of Commerce, 849-5977

The Village, lead primarily by the business community, seeks a downtown strategic plan and "to establish greater involvement by the Chamber of Commerce and the business community as partners with the Village in the planning process." The first phase is a "downtown vision and opportunities analysis" at a cost of $15,000. The second phase will be a "strategic redevelopment plan based upon the vision" at a cost of $35,000. A BUILD grant was requested for phase II which will:

Identify public improvements needed to create an attractive, pedestrian-friendly and economically viable downtown business district.

Identify a sustainable business and land use mix for the downtown.

Provide design guidelines for private development that will achieve an attractive, coordinated and integrated land use mix for the downtown.

Provide an implementation strategy that addresses funding, phasing, management and public/private sector responsibilities during implementation.

Include a strong public involvement process to solicit comment and input on findings and recommendations throughout the planning process.

Village of Marshall

Total Project Cost: $25,000 BUILD Grant: $20,000

Contact: Dennis Dancker, Director of Public Works, 655-3814

The Village, with strong participation from the Marshall Business Association, has made downtown revitalization a priority. With a high level of need, the Village seeks to develop a plan to improve the physical appearance of the downtown area. The plan will serve as the basis for façade improvement efforts.

City of Madison

Total Project Cost: $25,000 BUILD Grant: $12,000

Contact: Archie Nicolette, Department of Planning and Development, 267-8741

The City requests funding for a planning process to establish design guidelines that will ensure new development along Williamson Street enhances rather than detracts from neighborhood character. The planning process would bring together neighborhood residents and businesses with developers to establish the guidelines.

Village of Cambridge

Total Project Cost: $15,000 BUILD Grant: $12,000

Contact: John Schrader, Village President, 423-3712

Cambridge has recently felt an increase in business closing due to highway reconstruction and lack of overall coordination of downtown interests. The downtown serves as the primary economic engine and tax base for the Village. The Village seeks a plan to provide adequate parking, ease of accessibility to all Main Street businesses, develop brown space, and enhance the overall look for Main Street.

Town of Madison

Total Project Cost: $25,000 BUILD Grant: $11,000

Contact: Richard Rose, Director of Public Works, 210-7260

The Town requested funding to prepare redevelopment plans for 10 under-utilized infill sites. The BUILD Committee recommends partial funding to conduct a preliminary study of the sites for the purpose of prioritizing them based on their redevelopment potential. More detailed redevelopment plans could then be conducted for high priority sites. A preliminary study might include interview of property and business owners, a market assessment, and traffic counts among other topics.


Make better use of existing infrastructure.
Locate community services, jobs and shopping in close proximity.
Stabilize and enhance existing neighborhoods, downtowns and other business districts.
Produce housing and jobs for low to moderate-income people.
Avoid converting productive farmland on urban fringes and in rural areas.
Provide viable options to auto trips by supporting walking, biking, and transit.
Have the potential to clean up environmentally contaminated sites.


Ron Norris, Chair
Village of Black Earth
Citizen representative

Eileen Bruskewitz
Dane County Supervisor

Karen Cornwell
Dane County Supervisor

David Gochberg
Citizen representative

Susan King
Citizen representative

Nick Lelack
Citizen representative

Dennis O'Loughlin
Dane County Supervisor

Kevin Pomeroy
Citizen representative


1. Kathleen Falk

2. Ron Norris, Chair of the BUILD Advisory Committee and President of the Village of Black Earth

3. Madison Mayor Sue Bauman

4. John Schrader, President of the Village of Cambridge
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