With the New Year right around the corner, La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said the city is going to see some big changes downtown and in the community in 2014.
This year the city of La Crosse focused on the revitalization of neighborhoods and new housing units. However, next year, the city will be focusing on a couple of projects downtown that will add jobs and move La Crosse forward in a big way.
“In 2014, we will do an organizational assessment, which has already started, to see how to improve as an organization overall to provide good services to our citizens at the lowest price possible,” said Kabat.
Kabat said he is pleased with the accomplishments of 2013 but is looking towards the New Year.
“We will hopefully see a couple of projects downtown here in La Crosse that will add a significant amount of tax base and jobs,” said Kabat.
One project includes the revitalization of the old funk candy factory back to its historic roots and turning it into a hotel.
“That’s a very significant piece as a part of development around Riverside Park," said Kabat.
Plans are well on their way to completely change the parks infrastructure too.
“We will hopefully be refurbishing the bandshell, the historic bandshell that is down there and creating a new performance venue for the free concerts on Wednesday,” said Kabat.
The city will also be assigning three community officers to certain neighborhoods.
Lt. Patrick Hogan with the La Crosse Police Department said these officers will not be responding to normal police calls. Not only will this give the officers a chance to get to know the residents, but the community will also get to know the officers.
“They see the same officer around the neighborhood and see them working with them and they feel more comfortable with that officer and approaching him and talking with him about problems in the neighborhood,” said Hogan.
With so many new projects ahead, Kabat said he wants to continue the good the community does here as well.
“What I am going to be focused on in 2014 is getting the council together and looking at ways that we can be a better model for good things -- for being compassionate and for being an organization that looks to really celebrate our growing diversity here in La Crosse,” said Kabat.