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City committee votes on $200K for another study of lead in La Crosse marsh

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FILE - From left, Jake Roberts, Colin Belby and Sara Erickson studying the La Crosse River Marsh. (PHOTO: UW-L earth sciences department)

Will another $200,000 get the city closer to removing lead from the bottom of the La Crosse River marsh?

The city Finance and Judiciary Committee on Thursday approved $200,000 for further study of the possible hazards caused by lead pellets left over from decades of trap shooting at Myrick Park.

Council member Mark Neumann thought enough studies have been done.

“Why didn’t we get it right the first time?” Neumann asked. “Two hundred thousand dollars is a lot.”

Neumann added that it’s “annoying” the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources keeps asking for more studies. The agency requested last fall that the city come up with a more aggressive cleanup plan.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds quipped to Neumann, “You just got a collective head nod. Just in case you’re wondering. We’re all in concurrence with your analysis there.”

Leah Miller from the La Crosse Parks, Rec. and Forestry Department said new information could move a remediation process ahead.

“We have plans and intentions of improving some of the hydraulics and recreational infrastructure within the marsh that is adjacent to this contaminated site,” Miller said.

She told the committee that the most recent study of lead contamination in the marsh happened 10 years ago.

The full city council votes on the study funding at its 6 p.m. monthly meeting next Thursday.

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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