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City has few options at Green Island




Sometimes, when things work well for a while, it doesn’t mean that will continue forever. The city of La Crosse has been managing the Green Island ice arena since May, but now says new management is needed to keep the rink open. The rink is heavily used by the Coulee Region Chill hockey team. It is also used for ice skating, curling and adaptive ice sports. Predictably, people are upset with the prospect of the city shutting down the popular ice arena. They have taken to social media and elsewhere to argue the big, bad city is being cold-hearted by threatening to rip up the ice and lock the doors at Green Island. They say the arena helps keep their kids active and out of trouble and provides them a safe and healthy environment. That may be true. But the city says the ice rink needs about $3 million in repairs and taxpayers can’t afford that expense. It is unfortunate that La Crosse may lose its ice rink, but the city is giving interested parties until June to come forward to save Green Island. City hall is willing to work with them. Let’s hope that someone comes up with a plan to keep the rink operational, but if not, the city really has no option but to shutter the arena.

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    January 17, 2020 at 8:08 am

    The city can’t afford the approx. $3M in repairs to Green Island Ice Arena, but can afford a La Crosse Center expansion (which apparently does not include more seating for the main arena, which it does need)? 13 proposed new tennis courts (in a location that I feel is not the best location)? And, if there are plans for tennis tournaments, which I would assume will have spectators along with the players, is there enough parking in that location. There is currently not enough convenient parking there for Chill games and for RCYH hockey tournaments. I am a hockey fan, my son played hockey when he was in school, and I ice skated a lot in my younger years and believe it would be a drastic loss for the city to close Green Island Ice Arena. I remember talking with some parents who moved to this area whose decision was based on the availability of an ice arena, hockey and figure skating programs.

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