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La Crosse Center plans not slowed down by votes against funding

Brad Williams

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Plans for remodeling the La Crosse Center will not change, even though La Crosse County and the city of Onalaska have both said ‘no’ to helping fund the project. 

On Thursday night, the county board fell short of approving a one-time gift of $138,000 to help the center meet expenses. 

Onalaska’s city council turned down a similar request on Tuesday. 

Center board president Brent Smith says the $42 million project always was going to move ahead anyway, no matter how those votes turned out. 

Smith tells WIZM’s La Crosse Talk that there are no plans to add new employees to the center’s payroll any time soon, despite predictions that the building might need 5 to 7 more workers after the expansion is done in 2021. 

While some critics of the building think it should be owned privately, instead of by City Hall, Smith points out that the Center has operated mostly in the black for the past 20 years, since the previous addition of the South Hall and a ballroom. 

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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