La Crosse County officials preview 2017

2016 was about building, 2017 a different story

La Crosse County officials are explaining what lies ahead in 2017.

Officials have spent much of the year preparing to move to their new administrative offices at the old Associated Bank building on Sixth Street.

While they don’t expect to see many building projects in the new year, county officials still expect the year to be busy.
Now moved into their new administrative center, La Crosse County Chairwoman Tara Johnson hopes 2017 will be a year of settling in.

“We need to make sure we have done a good job planning for this space, and are able to continue to deliver the high level of services we do on a daily basis,” Johnson said.

But Johnson says 2017 will continue to highlight a growing problem at the county level.

“The funding that comes from the federal to state, and the state to local government, continues to be shrinking,” Johnson said.

And that problem is most prevalent when it comes to roads.

“La Crosse County has hundreds of miles of county roads that we are responsible for, and they are deteriorating in quality, and that means their safety,” Johnson said.

County officials say 2017 will also be a year addressing growing needs in the community.

“We have a very serious growth in mental-health needs in La Crosse County,” Johnson said. “The heroin and opioid issues are not going away.”

Johnson expects that the ongoing debate over the sharing of county and city services will also continue in 2017.

“I think we’re trying to figure out how that’s going to play out, between the county and city, but I’m confident that there will be work done on library services in 2017,” Johnson said.

It’s been a productive 2016 for the county, and Johnson hopes that will carry over into next year.

“A lot of hard work as gone into making a good year, and here’s to 2017,” Johnson said.

Johnson says La Crosse County will also focus on more neighborhood-revitalization projects in 2017.