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Wednesday - June 20, 2018 5:58 am

A second chance to get Center expansion plans right

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We have one chance to get this right. That is why Mayor Tim Kabat is right to veto legislation calling for a huge expansion of the La Crosse Center. Like the Mayor, we too want to see the La Crosse Center expanded, but not using the current plans. Those plans call for the city to spend more than it can afford without significantly raising property taxes. The plans passed by the council also call for the expansion to encroach on Riverside Park, eating up a half acre of parkland that will never be replaced. And the designs of the park still don't fit in with the surroundings. Kabat suggests the costs, size and designs of the Center expansion should be changed so that it is affordable, more aesthetically pleasing, and doesn't cover so much of the park. It is likely that the council will consider overriding the mayoral veto, and based on our count, that vote could be close. But designers should go back to the drawing board, and figure out a better way to expand the Center. It is still a bit puzzling why Mayor Kabat was not more vocal sooner about his objections to the plan. The first public comments we heard from the Mayor was during an interview with WIZM. But that was just weeks ago. The head of the Parks department has also been rather quiet about losing so much parkland. Turns out in this case, we have a second chance to get this right. The council should order the Center Board to try again, as whatever is decided, we will be living with for the next 50 years.

Scott Robert Shaw

Scott Robert Shaw is the Program Director for both 1410 WIZM and 580 WKTY.   He's currently the morning news anchor on 1410 WIZM, Z93 and 95-7 The Rock.  He joined Mid-West Family Broadcasting as a reporter/anchor in 1989 and served as News Director from 1990-2015.   He's been the winner of several Wisconsin Broadcaster's Association awards for Best Editorial in Wisconsin.  He enjoys traveling, bicycling and cooking.

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