Janesville City Council gives go-ahead to transit center
JANESVILLE Staff for the city of Janesville will solicit bids for a new transit center, but one council member warned Monday that he might look for ways to cut the plans, depending on the money involved.
Councilman Matt Kealy said there were "a lot of luxuries" in the design, including aisle parking for buses rather than stacked parking, for example.
The transit center, set to open in spring 2014, will be built on the corner of Black Bridge Road and Parker Drive. The building committee—which consists of staff, a council member and a neighborhood representative—put emphasis on the building's aesthetics because of its visible location, said John Whitcomb, city operations director.
Cost of the project is expected to be $7.95 million, with the federal government picking up $6.64 million.
The council also:
-- Voted down a proposed ordinance requiring taxi owners to bring their rates before the council and to post those rates publicly.
The vote was 4-2, with Kealy, DuWayne Severson, Deb Dongarra-Adams and Kathy Voskuil voting "No," and Russ Steeber and Sam Liebert voting "Yes." Jim Farrell was absent.
Kealy said he agreed fares should be visible in taxis, but he couldn't support an ordinance requiring a private business to bring its rates before the council. For instance, he asked what would happen if gas prices spiked one weekend and the taxi owner couldn't get an audience with the council for another two weeks?
City staff said it had not received complaints from residents about fares. Steeber, who sponsored the ordinance with Liebert, said he received one and was concerned owners could "gouge" residents forced to depend on their services.
-- Changed zoning at 3410 Bell St., paving the way for a fitness club and tennis courts.
-- Agreed that larger than normal right-of-ways on downtown streets be determined as city property because of continual use of the property.
The city does not have formal right-of-ways recorded for downtown streets, and public access is often not in the typical right-of-way because sidewalks are so wide.
The city wants to resurface the streets and renovate Main Street, but it must record those areas to comply with federal regulations to get transportation money.