DNR gives La Crosse $250,000 for cleanup project

City to use grant to cleanup former manufacturing site

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has given the City of La Crosse $250,000 to cleanup a former manufacturing site.

The money from the DNR’s Ready for Reuse Program will pay for the removal and disposal of contamination generated from a pre-World War II rubber mill that later became LaCrosse Footwear.

“These awards really help move the needle on local cleanup projects,” DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said in a statement. “Cleaning up a site like this helps the city and its partners get this property back on the positive side of the economic balance sheet.”

The City of La Crosse plans to use the site for commercial and residential development. The DNR said once the cleanup is complete, it estimates an increase to the property value of $40 to $60 million.

“Our partnership with DNR on this project is invaluable,” City of La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said in a statement. “The local DNR staff and the people in Madison put a lot of effort into making this cleanup a reality. The reuse of this property will enhance our city and the north side neighborhood for years to come.”

The DNR said an additional $300,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is also helping cover the cost of cleanup at the site.

“The historic contamination was a big hurdle to redeveloping this site, but this award provided a tremendous incentive for interested developers,” said James Hill, La Crosse Area Development Corporation . “It’s this kind of financial and technical partnership with DNR that is going to help create jobs and revitalize a part of our city that has been underused for too long.”