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State’s $5 million grant for La Crosse Center project shrinks along with budget size

Brad Williams

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When Gov. Scott Walker promised $5 million in state funding for the La Crosse Center expansion, that was based on a project budget of at least $47 million.

The expansion price tag, however, has since been cut and, as a result, the possible grant is going to be smaller, according to Center director Art Fahey.

He says the state is only offering $4.5 million now, because the expansion budget dropped back to $42 million, after a veto of the plan by Mayor Tim Kabat. The city council agreed with the veto, unhappy that the expansion would impede into Riverside Park, among other things.

Fahey says the state wants to see final plans for the building before committing grant funds to the expansion.

The center board hopes to have those final plans ready in the early part of next year.

Board members could look into new sources of funding to help get that state grant money.

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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