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Monday - November 13, 2017 10:49 pm

Harbor tenants not happy with new plans submitted to DNR that appears to drive some out Featured

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City's $1.8-million renovations don't appear to include store, gas dock

Final plans for the new version of the La Crosse Municipal Boat Harbor could be made public.

Alterations to harbor plans submitted to the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources last week were being made in city hall as late as Monday morning.

Some, who have spent years in the former harbor, aren't happy. The new plans make spaces for 223 boats — 50 more than have been there over the last 40 years. The changes, however, also eliminate three dozen slips of 40 feet and over.

The city plans a $1.8 million renovation to the harbor this winter. Work for that project has yet to be bid out. Plans that don't appear to include a store, a gas dock or a pump out facility.

"The mayor's promised, Steve Carolyn has promised, that everybody that had a slip in the harbor is going to have a slip and a place for their boat," Dennis Smalley said. "So, I'm taking them on their word."

Smalley represents a group of longtime harbor tenants. He hopes the tweaks to the submitted plan are substantial. The plans seem to squeeze out more than three dozen bigger houseboats that have been docking there.

"There's no way, mathematically, they can keep their promise that everybody's that got a slip is going to get a slip, unless they're going to tell me that for my 54-foot houseboat they're going to give me a 24-foot slip," Smalley said.

"This isn't just someone telling me in a back room, 'You're going to be OK, everyone's going to have a slip.' These are things that were said out in public.

In a lengthy open letter, Smalley also called the process to develop the plan, deceptive and misleading and claims the plans make it a below average harbor.

City parks superintendent Jay Odegaard told WIZM that, while the plans submitted Tuesday for the layout of the harbor are final, it hasn't been settled yet if there will be amenities like a gas dock or a harbor store on site.

Last modified on Monday - November 13, 2017 10:56 pm
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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