Janesville58.4°

Janesville to receive $400,000 earmark

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
November 27, 2009
— It’s easy to speak against an earmark.

Until it’s your own.


Janesville is getting a $400,000 earmark to renovate its wastewater treatment plant, courtesy of Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., through Congress’s annual appropriations bill.


The city is borrowing to pay for the $32 million project.


“That’s one of my specialties, working on earmarks,” city Manager Eric Levitt said. “I told the council that.”


Levitt said during his interview process last year that one of his specialties is bringing home the earmarks.


“My approach is, whether you like them or not, they’re right now in existence. If they are in existence, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure the residents of Janesville benefit, too.”


A so-called earmark includes money a member of Congress puts in the different appropriations bills for a specific project.


The city failed to get any stimulus funding for the treatment plant renovations.


That money was distributed through the state Department of Natural Resources, which ranked projects on criteria.


“We fell out just after the last project that got funding,” Levitt said.


The $400,000 will help offset the money the city is borrowing to renovate the plant.


Levitt said he would attempt to submit another request for the same project next year, although that is typically unsuccessful once one has been awarded.



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