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Janesville City Council OKs adding advertising

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
February 9, 2010
— The Janesville City Council agreed Monday to increase advertising on city property to earn at least $100,000 a year in revenue.

City Manager Eric Levitt said he guessed that is something the council would not have approved 10 or even five years ago.


“However, with continuing budget and fiscal pressure, I think now we have to look at other non-traditional (sources),” Levitt said.


Levitt stressed that the city will control who it advertises and in what manner.


The city will contract with The Active Network to meet with city employees and write a business plan for a cost of $10,000.


The city also will pay the company 10 percent of ad revenues.


Ivan Gearhart of The Active Network said the goal is to develop partnerships with businesses. Advertisers are looking for ways to “surround the consumer,” he said.


As an example, one city built a skatepark, maintains it and holds an event once a year. In another city, a company advertises on kiosks it built and maintains along a trail. Companies sometimes rehab parks and maintain them in exchange for advertising there, Gearhart said.


The company is sensitive to community values and existing contacts and relationships, he said.


“It’s a unique way of developing revenues for cities,” he said. “It does work.”


Council member Yuri Rashkin asked if the city could handle such a program itself.


Levitt said the city has not been in the advertising business. He suggested the city work with the marketing firm for three years, after which it can decide whether to take it over itself.


The vote to hire The Active Network was unanimous.


Councilman Russ Steeber was absent.


In other business

In other business, the Janesville City Council on Monday:


-- Approved a blasting permit for SX Blasting. The company is working on the expansion of the Janesville Wastewater Treatment Plant. The blasting is needed to build storm sewer and water main extensions as well as a tank.


-- Denied a $2 million claim brought by relatives of Stacey Hosey, a Beloit woman who was allegedly murdered by a man Janesville police had in custody hours before her death. Police said the arrest and the alleged stabbing were unrelated.


-- Approved the purchase of a foreclosed home at 159 Cherry St. for $47,500. The home will be resold to a low- to moderate-income family.


-- Heard the presentation of the Patriot Award to members of the Janesville Police Department. Officer Chad Woodman nominated the police department for its support of employees serving in the National Guard and Reserves. Woodman is a member of the Wisconsin Air National Guard, 115th Security Forces Squadron, and deployed with Operation Iraqi Freedom.



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