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Boathouse license fees at some La Crosse docks will rise 50 per cent

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The cost of keeping a boathouse at certain docks in La Crosse is going to rise sharply, but not as much as the city had proposed. 

At its monthly meeting Thursday, the La Crosse Park Board decided to raise the yearly license fees by 50 percent to $750 for residents of the city and $900 for non-residents. 

That’s down from the suggested increases of $1,275 and $1,500 per year. 

Boathouse owners at the meeting — numbering about 50 to 60 — protested the increases, saying the fee hikes appeared to be a way of trying to get rid of the houses, which take up city park land. 

They also criticized city leaders for giving them little advance notice that the increases were going to be voted on this month.

Boathouse owners attend a Park Board meeting on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at La Crosse City Hall (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Department staffers defended the increases, saying more money was needed to maintain the docking areas for the boathouses.

Park department staff had proposed the fee hikes to help pay for maintenance, such as shoreline repair and electrical service for the boathouses at Copeland Park and elsewhere. 

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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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Fritz Dahmus

    August 20, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    I have to say this [being new to the area]. These are “Houseboats”, not “Boathouses”….see the definition below:

    boathouse
    bōt′hous″
    noun
    A building at the water’s edge in which boats are kept.
    A house or shed for storing boats and protecting them from the weather.
    A house for sheltering boats.
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
    More at Wordnik

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