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City council approves plan to work towards La Crosse government having own liquor license



The city of La Crosse could sell its own booze soon.

The city council Thursday approved a plan to move toward creating an entity that could hold a liquor license.

It’s a way to replace the beer and liquor license agreement the city has with the La Crosse Convention and Visitors Bureau. But it could be other things, too, says Mayor Tim Kabat.

“The discussion has been of creating a new agreement where we might be able to, over time, incorporate the airport or other city facilities come about so that we would have the maximum flexibility,” Kabat said.

Doing so, however, will be largely uncharted territory. It will take a little work, Kabat said, because it’s a pretty creative and new approach.

“You would think that every other city our size or similar would have something that we could use as a template,” Kabat said. “But most of the other communities utilize a private entity or a nonprofit that manage those operations.

There does seem to be some disagreement in city hall on whether it’s actually legal for the city to hold its own liquor license.

“It’s kind of a quasi-city sponsored corporation but it has to be a separate entity based on the state statutes for our beer and liquor licensing,” Kabat said.

La Crosse Center director Art Fahey said the city having its own booze license would save the facility $10,000 a year.

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