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Council member doesn’t want new parking revenue turned into slush fund



There is still hesitation from some on the La Crosse city council when it comes to a contentious plan for a new paid, on-street parking test program.

Council member Jessica Olson sounds like she might vote to ban the program, unless there are some reassurances.

“If we’re saying parking’s not free, well, what is the cost of that parking, where do those expenses come from, and how do we officially tie it to that expenditure?” Olson asked. “So that we’re not creating slush funds, we’re not creating revenue sources that go into something completely unrelated.”

Olson, and possibly other council members, would like some reassurances.

“I want to see something in the language of our code that restricts this money to go towards the expenses of whatever it is we’re providing to the person paying the fee,” she said. “I don’t want to see that happen because that’s just the model of bad government.”

Olson also wants the pilot for the paid parking to get expanded to the neighborhood around Gundersen Health System on the south side.

It had been planned for only the streets immediately surrounding the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Western Technical College.

Wednesday, a city council committee again considers a ban on the program — a highly unusual move that essentially overturns the actions of another city board that was acting appropriately under city rules.

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