Wisconsin News

City code enforcement could shift to fire department in La Crosse

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) - The job of enforcing city codes in La Crosse could be shifted to the fire department under a proposal from Mayor Tim Kabat.

He says problems would be dealt with quicker, and the Building and Inspections department could focus on issuing permits and handling new construction.

It's another piece of the city's neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Part of the problem comes from a growth in single family homes being converted into rentals.

A committee studying why that is happening recommended improving code compliance. "We want the inspection part of it and the code enforcement part of it to be responsive, to be effective," said Mayor Kabat.

"Whatever we do, the end result has to improve our neighborhoods, and if what we talk about or what we decide doesn't improve our neighborhoods, then we've wasted our time," said Div. Chief Gregg Cleveland.

The proposal would also rescind some city ordinances the mayor calls ineffective, especially ones that discourage maintenance.

City officials now have 60 days to come up with a plan to have the fire department take over the duties.


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