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Council candidates' stance on ridding the downtown of blight

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Gazette Staff
March 30, 2010
A resident recently suggested that the council take the lead and spend the millions needed to rid the downtown of blight and build an anchor facility. Do you think Janesville should spend more to improve the downtown?
Briarmoon: Once we get a leash on the code department by having a functional citizen's board of appeals, then developers will be able to go forward on projects like the Monterey Hotel renovation. We have been bulldozing our historic buildings under the label of "blight" and eliminating the charm and asset of our downtown. For whose benefit? And how hard would it be to repaint the streets for additional parking?
Hoppenjan: Yes, wisely with foresight.
McDonald: Continuing to revitalize the downtown is one of the many important issues facing Janesville. Over the past several years, there have been major improvements to the area, and I see this continuing in the future. The city and private interests have and will continue to work together. Regarding the amount of public money that should be spent, downtown development must be given its due consideration in the budget.
Rashkin: While the city must continue looking for opportunities to work with private businesses, downtown Janesville already has a lot of great businesses and attractions that gain from working together. Overall, the council needs to be careful about spending taxpayers' money on projects, especially in this economy and especially when it requires borrowing.
Voskuil: Improvement in downtown Janesville is very important. I think the city has invested wisely in downtown, as evidenced by the new parking ramp and funding programs such as Community Development Block Grants and Tax Incremental Finance funds. There is always room for improvement and opportunity; however, we need to manage our resources to maximize our return on investment throughout the city.

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