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Transfer of $30k to La Crosse’s arts board up for debate



What’s more important for the city of La Crosse–supporting public works of art, or helping visitors get around town? 

That’s a $30,000 question for the city council to settle. 

The council finance committee argued Thursday night over a plan to take $30,000 that was set aside for directional signs and give it to the city arts board instead. 

Council member Andrea Richmond says the north-side business district was hoping to get some of that money for promotion.

“I don’t like the idea if we go through this whole budget process, and then all of a sudden we just decide, well, the arts board needs some money, but so does wayfinding,” said Richmond.

Mayor Tim Kabat says the arts board has several future projects which could use extra funding.

“It needs some additional ‘Oomph,'” Kabat said. “I felt that this was a smart move to take currently allocated funds and repurpose it for the arts board.”

Kabat criticized the idea of waiting for La Crosse County to provide funds to the arts board, claiming that county board members try to “hold the city hostage” by demanding seats on committees before approving money for city projects.    

One seat on the La Crosse arts board is traditionally set aside for a county board member.

The full city council will decide next week whether to approve that money transfer, and it also will be asked to determine how much power the arts board should have over public art displays. 

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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1 Comment

  1. Randy Hubert

    September 4, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Why are we spending any money on the arts when city revenue is way down.

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