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La Crosse council refers apartment project once more; approves support position for Holmen fire department

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They’ll give it one more month. The La Crosse city council approves another referral on a zoning change for a proposed housing site on King Street.

Developer Kevin Biondo has made several changes in an apartment project, in hopes of getting approval from neighbors.

Jack Zabrowski from the planning department, however, said at Thursday night’s monthly meeting that it has become clear the neighbors don’t want those apartments on that block, saying the plan went from 16 units to four, but has risen to a larger number.

Council member Chris Kahlow said it’s time to take a yes-or-no vote on the plan.

“This has been very stressing and taxing and time consuming for the neighbors,” she said. “I think that they just feel like they need to know a decision, up or down. I think this discussion started last April.”

The council also voted last night to delay action on improvements to the Bethany Lutheran nursing home on South 7th Street. Bethany wants to add units, so residents don’t have to double up in rooms.

The city council did approve a plan to share administration of the La Crosse and Holmen fire departments for the next year.

La Crosse chief Ken Gilliam is temporarily in charge of Holmen’s department, after the recent departure of that community’s chief Buck Manley.

Gilliam asked the council to fill a position for a battalion chief to serve Holmen, saying a battalion chief traditionally is third in command of a fire department.

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.