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County can fix flooded roads, but not neighboring property



Extreme weather events are not going away, and local governments have to figure out how to pay for repairs after flooding or other disasters. 

La Crosse County highway commissioner Ron Chamberlain had that message for the county board this week, asking them to consider taxes or other charges which could help finance emergency repairs. 

But Chamberlain says the county cannot be responsible for damage that occurs on private property, located along roads in flood areas.

“I want to make sure that the policy makers are aware that when they get the phone calls, which they will and some already have, (that) ‘the highway department is not willing to help me,’ that’s because the highway department can’t help you,” said Chamberlain.

He says cooperative cost sharing between the county and individual communities could be one way to pay for frequent highway repairs. 

Chamberlain says his department can only budget for things that it knows need to be done, and can’t reliably plan for emergencies like floods, which seem to happen every year.

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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