Council president requested vote be
delayed until final budget was complete
A little heated meeting over the La Crosse bandshell at Riverside Park ended with a council committee agreeing to spend over $1 million for its replacement.
Members of the council finance committee argued Thursday night over those finances.
New council member David Marshall said he is “livid” over spending decisions apparently being made behind closed doors.
“There has been an inordinate amount of decision making done at the dept head level and done in a way that has almost been Machiavellian in nature,” he said at the meeting.
Mayor Tim Kabat took exception to that, saying records of open discussions over several years are available.
Fixing the old Wendell Anderson platform at Riverside Park has been in the city budget for several years. Releasing the funds now means it may not be available next season.
“Now, you either shut off the whole season to get the work done or you wait until the fall in hopes that the structure, itself, is not condemmed,” Park director Steve Carlyon said.
Next week, the full city council will decide whether the bandshell gets the funding.
The panel turned down a request from council president Martin Gaul to wait 60 days, until the budget is final.
Gaul said he supports the bandshell project but believes other items affecting the budget have to be considered.
“And, until we get that finish, I think it would be irresponsible for us to utilize these uncommitted funds at this time,” Gaul said.