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County may get state money for Clean Sweep, after all
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MADISON - Green County still could receive money from the state for its Clean Sweep program, even though it already paid for its own collection, according to Sen. Mark Miller, D-Monona.

In a statement issued Saturday, Miller said the Legislature's Joint Committee on Finance restored the funds for the program, if the approval stays in the final state budget plan.

Green County had its Clean Sweep program May 15-16, even after the governor decided to eliminate state funding. The Green County Board of Supervisors spent $25,000 for the program, and county departments used money from their budgets to help with expenses such as printing and advertising.

The program collected hazardous materials such as oven cleaners, herbicides, insecticides and antifreeze; more than 11,000 pounds of hazardous materials from homes, garages, schools, farm buildings and businesses in Green County were collected this year, Green County ag agent Mark Mayer said.

How much and when the county could receive the state money for the program still is up in the air, according to Miller's office.

Counties will have to apply for grants to receive the money. Miller's office didn't know how the money would be divided between the counties.

The committee recommended the state budget include $1.5 million to help cover costs for the program. It's expected the money will remain in the budget, but it also could be removed by the Legislature or by Gov. Jim Doyle if he vetoes that item.

The budget could be completed by the end of June.

Doyle eliminated funding for the program in February despite the fact the money already had been collected from companies that store hazardous waste, Green County Board of Supervisors Chairman Art Carter said. The money collected was from fees, not taxpayers, he added.

Carter said the county expected to receive about $20,000 for its Clean Sweep program.

He said he wasn't counting on any money from the state for the program until the state's budget is completed.

"I'm not taking much as fact," Carter said. "We won't know anything until the budget is done."

Mayer said he hopes the county will be able to get some money for the Clean Sweep program to help reimburse the cost paid by county taxpayers. However, like Carter, Mayer said he won't know how much the county could receive or if it would receive any money until after the state's budget is finished.