La Crosse city officials focusing on improving roads and cost of living in 2020

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat’s new years resolutions for 2020 include improving La Crosse’s roads and opportunities for its people. It’s a new year, but it’s not a new experience for Kabat who is ready to begin working another long list of needs for the city of La Crosse.

“I really enjoy what I am doing,” Kabat said. “Every day, of course, has its challenges.”

One common complaint from people who live here revolves around the condition of roads.

“With 220 miles of streets around the city, if you fall behind it takes you a while to get caught up,” Kabat said.

Kabat said if the city can fix 5-7 miles of roads each year, they will catch up.

“We are going to see some significant investments in streets in our industrial parks such as Larson Street, Palace Street, some of our neighborhood streets such as King Street,” Kabat said. We are going to see projects there.”

People will notice construction on the $42 million La Crosse Center Expansion project and the Trane All Abilities Park on the south side.

“The playground facilities and equipment will be installed this upcoming year,” Kabat said. “That will be very exciting for everyone.”

Kabat said affordable housing is something the city needs to fix. He said those improvements and the addition of mental health services can have a positive impact on homelessness.

“If we can get them into permanent housing and get them case managers to help them with the challenges they might be facing, we see positive results,” Kabat said.

He said people who want treatment for drug addiction shouldn’t have to wait for months to get help.

“I think that is wrong,” Kabat said. “We need to do better as a community to get people who are making a commitment, and want to make a commitment to get better, into treatment.”

It won’t be easy to meet every need, but Kabat said it is the city’s job to find solutions so the people who call La Crosse home can thrive.

City officials are also looking at installing permanent pumps along the Mississippi and Black River to deal with high water. Kabat said he is also looking forward to working with the La Crosse School District and its new superintendent when that position is filled.

The city is also working on selecting a site for a new public market.  The top site for the market is near the Oktoberfest grounds. Kabat said he will also decide on whether he will run for a third term in the spring of 2021.

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