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La Crosse will keep some liquor license fees very low, for now



How much money can tavern and restaurant owners in La Crosse afford to pay for liquor licenses during the pandemic? 

The city council says two specific license fees will be reduced by 90 per cent for now. 

Council member Phil Ostrem was bothered that such a big cut could deprive the city of about $80,000 in revenue this year, so he proposed cutting the fees by just 50 per cent, saying the savings from the larger cut wouldn’t be enough to save any single business.    

But others on the council opposed the Ostrem plan.  Council member Gary Padesky’s family used to run a bar, and Padesky says tavern owners would benefit from the large reduction.

“I do know how important this is to small business,” said Padesky. “Please do this for these businesses.”  

Chris Kahlow of the council thinks city leaders didn’t expect the pandemic to get as bad as it has been during this winter, when they approved liquor license fees for 2021 back in November.


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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