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Janesville City Council members question Tallman repair expense

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Kathleen Foody
August 17, 2009
— Several city council members are questioning why the city spent $9,000 on repairs to the Tallman House before a study session to consider the home’s future later this month.

City Manager Eric Levitt included information on the repairs to the privy wall foundation in an e-mail to city council members and members of the media.


The e-mail was only intended to update council members as they prepare for a Thursday, Aug. 27, study session on the Tallman House, Levitt said.


Community Development Director Brad Cantrell wrote that the repair was designated as “immediate” in the report issued earlier this year on the Tallman House.


Gilbank Construction could perform the job for $9,000, lower than the original $32,000 estimate.


The money would come from funds borrowed for tuck-pointing in 2006, Cantrell wrote.


Council member Frank Perrotto was the first to question whether the project should wait until after the study session.


“I don’t care whether it was approved previously. To me it may be like throwing good money after bad,” he wrote.


Council members Tom McDonald and George Brunner also questioned whether the repairs could be put off until after the session.


The house needs more than $2 million in repairs including replacement of its roof and gutters, according to a report finalized in April.


Levitt said the privy wall foundation repair was necessary to continue running the Tallman House as city officials consider its future.


“Within the scope of a $2.4 million estimate (of repairs to the home), I didn’t see $9,000 as an issue, especially considering the fact the city owns the Tallman House and one of my jobs is maintaining the facilities we own,” he said.



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