It was unanimous.
The La Crosse City Council voted 12-0 Thursday night to approve the latest La Crosse Center expansion plan.
Several negotiations and compromises were made in the last two weeks in regards to the latest proposal, which, in part, returned North Hall to its original size of 15,000 square feet.
La Crosse Center director Art Fahey said he’s glad to move on to the next steps.
“This discussion started five years ago,” Fahey said. “Obviously, there were a lot of twists and different paths we took to get here, but I’m glad to move on to schematics and eventually construction.”
Throughout the debate, one point against the project is the value of the building to the community and if it was worth the $42 million cost.
Fahey stressed that the entire city will see economic growth — both from current vendors and new clients.
“Forecasts are saying we’re going to have anywhere from a $6 -7 million incremental impact in the community on an annual business,”
Fahey said. “The hotels, the restaurants, and the entire community will see that difference.”
The council started over last summer, after Mayor Tim Kabat vetoed the previous plan, concerned about the $48 million price and the encroachment into Riverside Park.