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Janesville City Council to consider advertising revenue

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
February 5, 2010
— Will the TV audience soon see Janesville City Council members drinking from Coke-branded glasses like the judges on American Idol?

Not likely.


But residents might see more advertising on city property if the city council approves a proposal to be aired Monday.


The council will consider increasing city revenue by contracting with The Active Network, a San Diego-based marketing firm.


Tom Malone, management analyst, said advertising in other cities includes a soft drink maker that put its logo on the roof of an airport building.


City Manager Eric Levitt said other advertisement might be similar to advertising at the Youth Sports Complex, where private companies sponsor fields.


The city already sells advertising wrapped around buses and occasionally puts ads in city brochures.


The council would have the final say on new advertising.


Malone said a conservative estimate is that the city could raise $100,000 in advertising revenue.


The city would pay the firm $10,000 to create an advertising plan, and the company would get 10 percent of ad revenues.


Council members last year asked Levitt to study ways to generate additional revenue. The goal is to limit property tax increases and minimize service reductions.


Company representatives would sell the ads and assist in the agreements.


Levitt recommends that the council approve the contract.


“This company has a proven track record in working with other cities and public entities to increase advertising revenue,” Levitt said.


“I foresee challenging budgets moving forward, and creativity will need to be used to get the city through these times.”


The additional revenue could offset tax increases or maintain service levels, Levitt said.


Malone said the city could start seeing advertising revenue in the 2011 budget.


ON THE AGENDA

The Janesville City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in City Hall, 18 N. Jackson St. An informal listening session with council members will begin at 6 p.m.


Items on the agenda include:


-- A request from staff to buy foreclosed property at 159 Cherry St. for $47,500. The house is 2,100 square feet and was built in about 1870. The property has been vacant and owned by a bank since October.


At one time, the home had been a three-unit rental property.


The city would do minor fix-up work.


The money would come from a federal grant.


The city would market the house to a low- or middle-income buyer. Deed restrictions would assure the house remains single family.


-- A request to move $345,038 from the fund balance to cover a shortfall in the 2009 snow removal budget.


The budgeted amount in 2009 was $867,260, but actual costs were $1.2 million. In 2008, $822,455 was budgeted and the city spent $1.58 million. In 2007, $808,314 was budgeted and the city spent $1.6 million.


The 2010 budget contains about $150,000 additional money in the snow removal budget to reflect more realistic spending.



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