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Weber Center denied a break on paying city fees

Brad Williams

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Will a performing arts center in La Crosse get a break from City Hall on having to pay an annual bill?  Maybe not. 

The city’s finance committee has turned down a request by the Weber Center to waive a $27,000 yearly payment for municipal services, because of hardships due to COVID-19. 

Council member Roger Christians says the center, which is home to the La Crosse Community Theatre, has gone almost a year without putting on events that bring in an audience.    

Other committee members suggested that the Weber Center could get donations from customers to pay the city bill, or perhaps the payment could be delayed until after the Center is back in business and making money again. 

The matter will come before the full council next week.             

It was March of last year when lots of businesses in La Crosse shut down suddenly, to hold off COVID-19.  The La Crosse Community Theatre ended a play’s run two nights early, and hasn’t had an audience back in the Weber Center since then.  

Meanwhile, the outdoor cafe program in La Crosse has been a hit during the past year, so the finance committee has voted to keep the program going for at least another 8 months. 

The program is scheduled to end this month, but this plan would extend it to November.  There’s talk of making outdoor dining a permanent feature in La Crosse.        

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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