37 million dollars of property that may not have been there without a special financing plan from the city of La Crosse. La Crosse city council finance committee chair Audrey Kader says it's a certainty that the development of the airport and next door industrial park would not have happened if a tax incremental financing district--commonly referred to as a TIF--wouldn't have been put in place there nearly 30 years ago. That TIF will be retired by the city this summer. Meaning the 37 million that the industrial park is now worth will go on the tax rolls for the city, county and school district. And, the best part, says Kader; is that will mean a little bit of tax relief for all of those property taxpayers beginning next year.
Looking for some new direction. That's what the Parking Utility Board in La Crosse will do in the next few months. The new chairman of that panel, Dick Swantz, told board members yesterday that he's not satisfied with where the group is, or with what it has to do. And he says others feel the same way. Swantz was elected parking board chair on Wednesday, succeeding Audrey Kader, who has been moved to another city committee. He wants to get information from similar-sized cities on how they handle parking problems.
Was a political fundraiser scheduled for tonight in Madison a harmless way to attract like-minded donors or a quick way to shake some money from the deep pockets of lobbyists? From Wisconsin Common Cause, Jay Heck suspects the latter. The fundraiser, until it was canceled abruptly yesterday afternoon, was to benefit the co-chair of the very powerful legislative committee that puts together the state's massive two year spending plan. A plan that the committee is still voting on this week. That dollar amount and holding the fundraiser at all, says Heck, suggests that republican state senator Roberta Darling was merely intent on exploiting the timing of the event to simply sell her influence to lobbyists.
Starting June 8th, a dozen volunteers a day will make 300 sack lunches for income children in La Crosse. Julie Nelson with the Salvation Army explains that these lunches are needed for area kids. Those that may not have the opportunity to have lunch at all this summer.