Repaved roads, La Crosse Center expansion among city’s accomplishments in 2019

Mayor Tim Kabat reflects about the city's ups and downs from last year

Any time the city of La Crosse takes on a new project, the process can take a while.

“These projects, and any time there’s redevelopment happening, you know there’s a lot of factors that go into it,” La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat said.

But

“We reduced our total amount of spending in the city,” Kabat said. “Our spending level at about $68 million is the lowest it’s been in 12 years.”

Some of that spending went to help repave four and a half miles worth of roads on Gillette, George and Losey streets.

“We have continued our push to increase the amount of investments that we’re making in our road infrastructure, and our streets and our utilities,” Kabat said.

Kabat says the city would have fixed more roads if it weren’t for flooding issues.

“A part of our challenge was the high river levels and the high ground water that we experienced kinda almost throughout the entire 2019,” Kabat said. “So that did set us back.”

The La Crosse Center’s $42 million renovation project also began construction to expand the arena.

“I’m sure there were some doubts, about whether or not this would move forward,” Kabat said. “You know, we’re here now with construction that has started.”

But there were some challenges for the city as well.

City officials re-evaluated properties for the first time since 2008, which means many people saw their property taxes take a big jump.

Kabat says most people saw their property value go up between 25 to 30 percent.

“Any time you go that long in between re-looking at and re-evaluating those property values, you are going to see increases,” Kabat said. “You’re going to see the need to catch up.”

But Kabat says the reduction in spending went a long way to making sure people’s property taxes did not rise even more.

“We did everything we could in our power to reduce spending and to reduce taxes to lessen that impact,” Kabat said.

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