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Friday - September 14, 2018 9:24 am

Mayor's strong arm tactics over pool unnecessary

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Mayor Tim Kabat seems like a nice guy, with the best interests of the city at heart. But he is choosing to play hardball over plans for a new Memorial swimming pool on the UW-La Crosse campus. For the past two summers, that pool has been shut down, due to costly and ongoing maintenance issues. There was a huge neighborhood effort to convince the city to rebuild that pool in its current location. Studies were done, designs made, and estimates gathered. The city agreed to rebuild the pool, and was willing to spend up to $3.9 million to get it done. The estimated pricetag came in lower than that, at $3.1 million. But still Kabat isn't ready to commit city funding to getting the pool built next year. In his proposed spending plan for the city, Kabat wants to only pay for part of the pool next year, with the remaining funds to be distributed the following year. That would mean another summer with no swimming pool. But the troubling part of the Mayor's plan is that the city would only commit the remaining money after the neighborhood raises $500,000 on its own for the pool project. It seems he is holding that neighborhood hostage. As Council member Jessica Olson points out, it is not the neighbor's fault that the pool fell into disrepair and was not properly maintained. This is not like an agreement with a developer where the city pays some and the developer pays some. We're talking about a neighborhood, which simply wants a place for their kids to splash and play. The city should commit to funding Memorial pool in its entirety, and stop strong-arming parents who want something nice for their kids.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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