City will no longer permit Mifflin Street Block Party - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

City will no longer permit Mifflin Street Block Party

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison will no longer sanction or permit the Mifflin Street Block Party, according to a letter being distributed by the Madison Police Department.

A document issued by Madison Police Chief Noble Wray, titled "Spring 2013 Resident Information Letter," says the City of Madison "strongly recommends" that any students thinking of hosting a house party reconsider.

It could mean the end for a UW-Madison tradition that's lasted for decades. "The city can't sustain the cost of the block party, and just the police cost alone was over $200,000 last year," Madison Lt. Dave McCaw says.

The letter says the decision was made due to public safety issues associated with the block party in the past.  It then goes on to state, "The City of Madison, UW Madison, area landlords and downtown residents, have all determined that the toll of the spring student party far outweighs any benefit to our community."

In 2012, police say hundreds of people were cited for mostly underage drinking and trespassing. That was considered better than the year before, when officers responded to stabbings and sexual assaults.

"This is the first year of silence, that nobody has come forward to say 'we want a permit.' We're not hearing a lot of chatter of people saying 'we're gunna do this anyway," McCaw says.

But Mifflin residents don't seem convinced that the street will remain quiet on May 4. "We had a good time last year, we're excited for it again this year," UW-Madison junior Brandon Tsoumas says. He remembers similar warnings from police last year as a Mifflin St. resident. "I just feel like as long as we're smart, there shouldn't be too much of a problem," Tsoumas says.

"We're gunna have people over, try and have fun still," Kristy Shanks says. She believes the event will still go on this year, but on a smaller scale.

Madison Police say they plan on having extra patrols on May 4 to be prepared for any kind of turnout, but hope to send officers home early and save the city money.

The Badger Herald provided a link to a copy of the letter, which you can view here.

 

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