Thursday, April 29, 2010

One community not willing to spend local dollars for bigger roads

Here's one answer to yesterday's question, which asked, "What road projects would be funded if citizens voted on each capital project?"

Apparently, the citizens of Franklin, WI desperately want a new interchange with I-94 to bring more people and traffic into their community. They say that it will help Northwestern Mutual expand, which will bring additional tax revenues for the city. Their share would be $500,000 out of a total $12.9 million project. But they don't want this interchange enough to pony up the money from local funds. They want others to pay their share. Citizens made it clear that they didn't want this road project to get any of their tax money.

From the article:

Oak Creek this week agreed to spend $4.4 million in tax-incremental financing money on the project, and Northwestern Mutual, which has a building near the site, agreed to give $1.6 million. But that leaves a $500,000 gap in the local share.
Franklin Alderman Tim Solomon said the interchange is too important to Franklin’s future to pass up, especially considering the potential benefit of any Northwestern Mutual expansion.
“Northwestern Mutual spent $2 million in taxes last year,” he said. “Spread that over 10 years, that’s $20 million, and they want this interchange. We need to make this happen.”
But Franklin residents at a Wednesday night Common Council meeting opposed spending city money to fill the gap.

Now, I don't know the area. I don't know the economic situation. I don't know if this is a god project or not. But it's clear that the citizens of Franklin feel they would rather lose out on this interchange than put any local funds into it.

So, what would happen in Madison if citizens were asked their thoughts on each road project?

To see what's planned for the next 5 years - with your Property tax dollars - attend the special briefing on Tuesday, May 4, 5:00 PM, in Room 201 of the City-County Bldg. It's not on the City's meeting schedule yet, but I assume it will be, as a quorum of the Council could be present.