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La Crosse doesn’t always need to hire consultants




One of the things the city of La Crosse likes to do when making difficult decisions is to hire a consultant. Sometimes that makes sense. A consultant was probably needed to develop plans for an expanded La Crosse Center. But sometimes it seems the city just hires consultants when it isn’t really necessary. For example, a consultant is being hired by the city to see about offering more boat docking in Riverside Park, in hopes of attracting more large cruise boats, providing a boost to the local economy. The city has agreed to pay $172,000 for phase two of a study of the levee system at Riverside Park. Is that really necessary? Mayor Tim Kabat says it makes sense to improve the levee system to better accommodate the big boats, perhaps moving docking further north in the park to where the La Crosse Queen now docks. That could lead to more cruise boat stops, and the Viking Cruise line has expressed an interest in bringing its boats to La Crosse. So, the interest is there, it would make the city a more attractive stop for visitors on the water, and it could boost the local economy. Why then do we need a study? Aren’t we hiring smart enough people in City Hall to figure this out without spending $172,000 to pay some consultants? This seems like a no-brainer. Just build a nice dock farther up stream in the park, and wait for the boats to arrive. That would save taxpayers a nice chunk of money that could instead by used to fill the potholes our new visitors will encounter when they step off the boat.

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