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Economic stimulus money? We could use it, says county board chairman

If the federal government distributes economic stimulus money for public projects, County Board Chairman Paul Barkla wants Pierce to get a piece of the action.

Last week, the Wisconsin Counties Association forwarded a request from Gov. Jim Doyle's office for lists of municipal building or road projects that could be considered for economic stimulus funding.

Barkla, who is also acting county administrator, said he received the e-mail a week ago Monday and the response was due by noon Wednesday, two days later.

"We got it in at three minutes to 12," he said.

"There really wasn't a lot of time to talk to anyone," said Barkla. "So I had a little wish list."

The list he sent includes a new justice center, estimated cost $25 million; new bridges on CTHs F and U, $4 million; courthouse rehabilitation, $5 million; an agri-business incubator building, $3 million; a new waste treatment plant for Ellsworth, $1 million; resurfacing of Hwy. 65 between Ellsworth and River Falls; and a new marina on Lake Pepin in Bay City, $600,000.

"I'm wishing that we get about $45 million," said Barkla.

For more please read the Jan. 14 print version of the Herald.