Madison has a good construction season under way, and we're particularly glad to see so much private investment throughout the city.

That doesn't minimize the importance of public (government-paid) investment, of which there is also a good list this year.

Even so, private investment typically represents a couple of things: 1) a business or individual has enough confidence in the local economy to make an investment that would pay off in future years, and 2) the money doesn't come from taxpayers, and often comes from elsewhere, representing an infusion of money into the community.

Let's look at each:

Public investment -- the completion of South Washington Avenue (a combination of state government and Madison), a substantial water project in northwest Madison (primarily a Madison project, with federal funds also being used), a water pipe project on S. Division Avenue, a bridge replacement on Garfield Ave. near E. Center Street and the new Dakota State University residence hall.

But consider the substantial private investments being made: an 68,000 square foot store for Runnings, a 72-lot residential development in N.E. Madison, a new building for First Premier Bank, new apartments on South Union, and the complete renovation of the former Shopko building on S. Washington.

There are many more, perhaps lower-profile, projects in Madison and Lake County that are a good signal for our local economy. We're happy to see excellent investments taking place during this challenging economic time.

-- Jon M. Hunter