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La Crosse mayor speaks with Onalaska about Center expansion funding request

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La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat was at a city council meeting this week, but he wasn’t in charge.

Kabat spoke to Onalaska’s council, requesting it help fund the $42 million La Crosse Center expansion project at $500,000 over 10 years.

Kabat was questioned on a few issues, including what kind of input Onalaska could have after the checks start coming.

“Is there any sense of shared governance with this?” Onalaska city administrator Eric Rindfleisch asked. “We are engaged when it’s time to pay for the project, but when it comes time to make any plans or offer insight, that’s not the case.”

Kabat told Rindfleisch he couldn’t answer at that time but was willing to discuss it with the Center Board and other parties.

Kabat also talked about the value of the expansion to the Onalaska community.

“I would say that there have been room tax dollars generated from events at the La Crosse Center that have helped Onalaska’s budget,” Kabat said. “We feel it’s appropriate to be here.”

Onalaska Mayor Joe Chilsen requested more information and said they would discuss the topic until the next council meeting.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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