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Thursday - July 12, 2018 3:46 pm

Kabat on WIZM talks of $49 million Center expansion, as council gets set to decide on his veto of plan tonight Featured

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The city council votes tonight on whether to override Mayor Tim Kabat's veto of the $49 million La Crosse Center expansion.

Kabat says a convention center expansion is the most important issue before the council right now. The council meets at City Hall at 6 p.m. tonight.

Kabat said he's frustrated that several concerns about the construction project have not been fully answered by officials with the Center at previous meetings.

"When there didn't seem to be any answers about, again, moving utility lines and floodway," Kabat said Thursday morning on WIZM. "And just, what is the cost of improving the area under the overhang? Those are costs that need to be identified."

He told Mike Hayes La Crosse citizens are saying "loudly and clearly" that they don't want the La Crosse Center to spill over into Riverside Park, and that he would like to see Center management change the building plan so that it doesn't go much beyond Front Street.

Kabat does not think a year's worth of planning for a center extension into the park has been well spent.

"Activity doesn't mean results," Kabat said. "You can be busy and you can be doing things, but if you're not doing it smartly, I don't really buy that as a solution."

But, Kabat added, what's been done so far isn't a total loss.

"If the veto is sustained, and I definitely hope that it is, we do not have to go back to square one," Kabat said. "We have a considerable amount of groundwork that has been laid."

Kabat said the La Crosse Center should not feel like it has a 'blank check' to expand the building into Riverside Park or to spend $49 million on the project.

Last modified on Thursday - July 12, 2018 3:50 pm
Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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