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File #: 78675    Version: 1 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 6/30/2023 In control: WATER UTILITY BOARD
On agenda: 8/1/2023 Final action: 8/1/2023
Enactment date: 8/4/2023 Enactment #: RES-23-00535
Title: Declaring the Crowley Station Well and Reservoir Surface at 201 S. Hancock Street to be a City Park, and Authorizing the Parks Division to Improve, Program and Maintain as a Public Park (District 4)
Sponsors: Michael E. Verveer, Charles Myadze, Marsha A. Rummel
Attachments: 1. Crowley Station Surface Map.pdf, 2. Crowley Station MOU (Parks and MWU).pdf

Fiscal Note

The proposed resolution reclassifies the Crowley Station Well and reservoir Surface to be a City Park under the authority of the Board of Parks Commissioners. The site will be added to the Parkland Inventory to be managed as an asset of the Parks Division. Parks Division costs in 2023 will be covered from the 2023 Adopted Operating Budget. Ongoing operating expenses are estimated to cost $5,000 annually and will be included in future budget requests.



Declaring the Crowley Station Well and Reservoir Surface at 201 S. Hancock Street to be a City Park, and Authorizing the Parks Division to Improve, Program and Maintain as a Public Park  (District 4)



WHEREAS, the Madison Water Utility operates a subterranean well and reservoir on E. Wilson St. at 201 S. Hancock St. (Well #17, also known as Crowley Station), which facility has a large exposed concrete surface accessible at street level; and,


WHEREAS, the City’s adopted 2018 Comprehensive Plan (Legistar File # 51349) notes that Crowley Station is within the downtown core mixed-use generalized future land use area, which is comprised of large scale buildings, with a wide variety of employment, service, retail, government, residential, and other uses in large scale buildings that comprise the most intensely developed part of the city.  The Downtown Plan (2012) has noted the shortage of park and open space downtown, and the challenge and significant expense in developing new park land downtown.  Among the recommendations of the Downtown Plan was to create pocket parks (small, urban parks) as gathering places that can become neighborhood assets downtown.  The First Settlement Neighborhood Plan (1995) also recommended making improvements to the Crowley Station roof deck to allow it to be used as a neighborhood open space and a focal point for the neighborhood.  Additionally, the City ’s adopted 2018 Park and Open Space Plan includes, among its recommended strategies for the City’s park system, the recommendation for the City to “[a]cquire parkland to reduce parkland deficiencies and address increasing residential density”; and,


WHEREAS, in 2013, the Parks Division, the Water Utility, an informal group of residents, property owners and business interests (the “Friends of Crowley Station”), and a downtown neighborhood association, Capitol Neighborhoods, Inc. (“CNI”), entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (the “2013 MOU”) regarding the improvement, use and maintenance of Crowley Station as public open space. Under the 2013 MOU, the Friends of Crowley Station, through CNI, were authorized to make certain improvements to Crowley Station, and the Parks Division agreed to maintain and treat the surface as park space.  Crowley Station has been maintained as a public open space since then, but remains an underutilized community asset; and,


WHEREAS, on March 6, 2017, the City amended its master community garden lease with Community GroundWorks, Inc., now known as Rooted WI, Inc. (“Rooted”), to include the Crowley Station surface, allowing the garden group to operate community gardens in the raised plating beds installed under the 2013 MOU (the “Garden Lease”); and,


WHEREAS, in 2020, community members began rethinking the possible uses of Crowley Station.  In consultation with the Parks Division and the Water Utility, these interested community members have developed a vision to develop and transform the Crowley Station surface into a “Lakefront Porch”, which will broaden the range of activities and uses for the space.  Sufficient private funding has been secured to advance the Lakefront Porch project (the “Project”), which Project will be completed through separate agreements between the City and the Madison Parks Foundation, the improvements being donated to the City upon completion; and,


WHEREAS, based upon the proposed Lakefront Porch improvements that are to be made to Crowley Station by the Project, and the need for more programmable park and open space in the downtown, along with its decade of managing the site under the 2013 MOU, the Parks Division is agreeable to having the Crowley Station surface being formally designated as a City park and operating and improving the site as a City park to help address deficiencies in downtown open space.  By designated the surface as a City park, Parks Division staff will have greater control and oversight over the site, and the site can be better utilized by the neighborhood and the community as an official part of the City’s park system; and,


WHEREAS, the Board of Park Commissioners recognizes the importance of activating this site to support the neighborhood, and for use and enjoyment by the public; and,


WHEREAS, the Water Utility, finding that there will be no detrimental impact upon the primary use of the site as a well and reservoir facility, supports the Lakefront Porch improvements to the Crowley Station surface and the transfer of management and control of the surface of the site to the Parks Division for the purposes of improvement, programming and maintenance and future use of the surface as a public park; and,


WHEREAS, in light of the Project and the development of the Lakefront Porch, and consistent with the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan, the Downtown Plan, the First Settlement Neighborhood Plan, and the Park and Open Space Plan, it is appropriate to administratively declare the Crowley Station surface as a City Park; and


WHEREAS, because the Crowley Station surface is not a separate tax parcel from the underlying Water Utility facility, and due to the necessary overlap between the surface improvements and the facility itself, it will be necessary for the Parks Division and the Water Utility to enter into an interagency agreement regarding the improvements, the use of the site, and the maintenance needs of the facility. 


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the surface of the Crowley Station well and reservoir facility, located at 201 S. Hancock St., is administratively reclassified as a City Park, under the authority of the Board of Parks Commissioners.  The surface of the facility will be added to the Parkland Inventory to be managed as an asset of the Parks Division.  A map showing the Crowley Station surface area of the Property is attached to this resolution; and,


NOW BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Parks Division and the Water Utility will negotiate a Memorandum of Understanding to define each agency’s maintenance responsibilities regarding the surface and underlying Crowley Station facility on a form and in a manner that has been approved by the City Attorney; and,


NOW THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Crowley Station surface lies within the East District Park-Infrastructure Impact Fee Benefit District and projects created to improve the Crowley Station surface as park and open space may utilize Park Impact Fees as a funding source.