Madison’s Redevelopment Commission voted Tuesday to allocate up to $250,000 to a project announced last month that will construct a new Madison Regatta Judge’s Stand and reshape the south side of Vaughn Drive from Jefferson to West streets along the Ohio River.

Representatives of the city’s Riverfront Development Committee and Madison Regatta Inc. proposed the development to the Commission last month, noting that the overall $750,000 project was being designed as the “crown jewel” to a riverfront improvement and beautification project that’s been 33 years in the making and required millions of dollars in fundraising.

According to Madison Mayor Bob Courtney, the $250,000 allocation will come from the city’s TIF fund for economic development and stake the project to a good start but both groups must still raise a lot of funding to make it happen.

“We’ve pledged $250,000 contingent on them getting the rest of the money,” Courtney said. “But now maybe other donors will come forward because they can see that the project is off to a good start.”

The group hopes to have funding in place by later this year and begin construction in the fall and over the winter to have work completed by next year’s 70th Madison Regatta and APBA Gold Cup in early July. The project involves building a new judges stand and seating in the area from West to Jefferson streets that is both handicap accessible and suitable for other events like concerts and weddings with upgraded lighting to accommodate events day or night.

The Redevelopment Commission also allocated $55,700 for a downtown sanitary sewer improvement project to better serve customers on Main and West streets who have struggled with an undersized and mostly clogged sewer main for several years.

According to Madison Utility Manager Brian Jackson, some restaurants have been having their sewer lines cleared multiple time per year because they line is so small and so old that it clogs easily. A new larger line would improve function and sanitation.

The line to be replaced runs in the alley just south of Main Street from West Street to the alley between West and Mulberry streets. The 6-inch sewer main will be upgraded to an 8-inch main to better serve several restaurants and other businesses as well as apartments located on the upper floors of buildings in the 100 block of East Main Street. The new line will include four manholes including one that easily facilitates clean outs.

“Normally a line would have to collapse for me to replace it. As long as we can flush it that’s what we do,” Jackson said. “But this is an issues for our downtown businesses, it’s a sanitation issue and it’s cost us time multiple times.”