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City of La Crosse urged to commit ARPA funding soon

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Five years can go by pretty quickly. La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds is making that argument, in asking city leaders to settle on plans for spending federal COVID-19 relief money.

Millions of dollars will have to be spent by the end of 2026. Reynolds said Thursday during the Finance & Personnel Committee monthly meeting that the deadline will come faster than people realize.

“With the restrictions that we have from the federal government … we’re gonna run out of time really quickly, and we need to start committing these funds very quickly” in order to find contractors to do the work, he said.

The mayor assures council members that any projects receiving American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding should get approval from the council first.

La Crosse is supposed to get about $22 million in federal funding for economic relief from the pandemic.

Reynolds is open to taking suggestions from the public and the city council for projects ranging from clean water initiatives to getting lead out of the La Crosse River marsh.

That can be done from the city’s website here.

A plan for allocating ARPA funds could be voted on by the city council next week, but suggestions could be added to the resolution in the coming week before it’s put to a vote.

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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