JG Excerpt:Facing a tough budget, City Manager Eric Levitt proposed a decrease in the design and development center subsidy from $50,000 to $20,000 for 2011. According to the lobby group running the center, Forward Janesville, that amount won't be sufficient to continue the operation that requires $50,000 to $60,000 annually.
Six years after debuting as a catalyst for the economic and aesthetic revitalization of the city's downtown, the Janesville Design & Development Center will close at the end of this year.
Strangely left out of equation and absent from the Gazette's articles relating to funding the economic development center is the area's newest economic development marketing initiative known as the Rock County 5.0. Comprised of some of the area's wealthiest business people with direct links to Forward Janesville, the group boasts a private cache of over $1 million to market Rock County economic development. Over the past year, the Janesville Gazette has repeatedly publicized the groups' thirst for new businesses and ideas to foster local economic development.
But their apparent unwillingness to fill the design center's budget gap should leave everyone wondering about what the 5.0's intentions really are. If the Rock County 5.0 doesn't see any value in the marketing and potential development of the county's largest downtown - why should anyone else?