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La Crosse Center board discusses funding from county for $49-million renovation

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The La Crosse Center board president told members Monday a $49-million renovation could be approved in March.

“This is it, folks!” board president Brent Smith said, as the La Crosse city council gets set to vote on the plan.

Smith said a resolution to be considered by the council in March could authorize the last $7 million needed for the remodel.

Meanwhile, the La Crosse County board may still vote to spend $60,000 a year for the next 10 years as its share of the economic development project.

County administrator Steve O’Malley said that amount is roughly equal to what a .5-cent county sales tax would generate for the construction.

Such a donation would be similar to what the county has been asked to pay for construction of other public facilities, including the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s football stadium.

Other matters at the Center include getting a liquor license. It’s been in business for almost 40 years, serving food and drinks at concerts, conventions and weddings — all without its own liquor license.

The city convention bureau holds the license for the civic center, under rules laid down by Madison.

The center board has Okayed a plan to control its own concessions. The city council will have to approve that, as well.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also 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. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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