La Crosse city moves forward with All-Abilities Park, puts Memorial Pool funding on hold

Some in La Crosse are questioning why one community project gets the go-ahead as another is put on hold.

City Council Member Jessica Olson does not agree with the city’s decision to delay the Veterans Memorial Pool renovation project.

The City decided to hold off on funding the Pool until $500,000 in private donations is raised for the project. Olson says it’s in direct contrast to the City’s decision to move ahead with the Trane All-Abilities Park, despite that project being several millions of dollars behind its estimated cost.

She recommends the City move money around so Memorial Pool can move ahead.

“We need to cooperate together and find where we can reduce come of the funding for some other items, not by an amount that would totally cancel or derail those items,” said Olson. “To let the neighbors see that we are going to respond to their wishes and we’re going to take care of their needs.”

La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat says the All-Abilities Park is in one of the City’s Tax Incremental Financing, for TIF, district, which is why that project is moving ahead as Veterans Memorial Pool is put on hold.

“And that generates money, cash, available to pay for that improvement rather than having to do new borrowing. The Memorial Pool is not located within a TIF district, and so it does not jave that source of funds available to it,” said Mayor Kabat.

Mayor Kabat says demolition and site preparations for the Pool should still begin later this year.