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Council member vows fight for Memorial Pool funding

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There appears to be a fight brewing over Memorial Pool in La Crosse again.

This time, it’s not about whether the pool should be rebuilt, but when.

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat’s just-released funding plan for the pool would make virtually impossible to open next year. Kabat has plans to fund the remaining money to build the pool — $1.2 million — in 2020, but only after a neighborhood group contributes $500,000 to the project.

City council member Jessica Olson doesn’t like that at all.

“I really disagreed with the mayor’s impulse that this should be a situation where we’re holding the neighborhood hostage for what was their asset to begin with,” Olson said.

She and some other council members will push to find additional funding so the entire $3.1 million project can be funded for next year, as work on the pool is set to begin this fall.

“It’s not the neighborhood’s fault that this pool fell into disrepair, or the deferred maintenance wasn’t kept up on it to keep it open continuously,” Olson said.

Olson says there are ways to find the money to get the pool down for 2019.

“I think it’s worth the effort just to sort of honor the community effort involved in making that pool being a reality,” she said.

Final bid to build the pool came in at $3.1 million, while $3.99 million was originally agreed to as a max price for the project.

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