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Children's museum receives green light from Janesville City Council

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Beth Wheelock
August 12, 2008

Janesville's City Council gives the go-ahead to a children's museum.


Council member Tom McDonald says he supports the project, but the $5 million price tag for something the city wants but doesn't need might be a hard pill to swallow for taxpayers. Other council members said at the special meeting Tuesday that it is a question of "want versus need", and Janesville needs a children's museum.


McDonald also suggested a referendum, but the idea was vetoed by the other council members present. The city will support the project with $5 million in public capital costs and up to $125,000 in annual operating costs if $3 million are first privately raised.


The council also gave approval to begin the design phase for $32.1 million in upgrades to the city's wastewater treatment plant. Towards the beginning of Tuesday's session, Council President Amy Loasching says it seems to be bad timing to be looking at this right now. She says it would be better to look at it six months from now when the council knows what will happen in Janesville. Council member Russ Steeber says very few communities go into negative growth. He says the council needs to have the foresight to do the project now instead of delaying it, because otherwise they could do a vast disservice to the citizens still in Janesville.


The project received a unanimous approval from the council. Quarterly water bills will increase just over $18 effective spring 2010 to help pay for the improvements. Janesville's rates are among the lowest of 13 of its peer cities.



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