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After making wish lists communities have little hope of seeing federal funds

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Ellsworth,Wisconsin 54011
Pierce County Herald
After making wish lists communities have little hope of seeing federal funds
Ellsworth Wisconsin 126 S. Chestnut St. 54011

Places big and small throughout Wisconsin have made their wish lists for federal economic stimulus money.

But Gov. Jim Doyle says there's no way his state government will get all it wants, much less local communities.


The U.S. Senate is expected on Thursday to approve its own version of the $ 819 billion spending plan passed by the House last week.

Various groups have played a guessing game on how much Wisconsin will get.

One estimate is $9 billion, but most put it in the $2-3 billion. That could cover around half the next state budget deficit.

And some local leaders say it means Madison will keep whatever comes in from Washington.

Shorewood Village Manager Chris Swartz says he'll be lucky to get "crumbs after the bread is broken."

Oak Creek administrator Pat DeGrave says the money won't trickle down very far because everybody has such big needs.

His city is pushing for a $20 million City Hall, library and concert yard. Milwaukee wants a $100 million street-car system downtown.

And small places like Grafton are seeking things like a $2 million bicycle bridge.

Doyle says if all mayors got what they wanted most "It would be a disaster."

But local leaders say it's a great time to help them because contractors are charging less.

Still, some fear the prices will be jacked up once governments put a huge demand on the limited number of private construction and design firms.