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Monday - March 20, 2017 1:59 am

One of Trump's budget proposals would have huge impact on La Crosse, says mayor

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On the chopping block, block grants, which
are key for neighborhood redevelopment.

Tracing the local impact of one of President Donald Trump's budget proposals isn't hard to do for La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat.

The mayor says it would be impossible for the city to work at comprehensive neighborhood redevelopment without the community development block grants that are currently on the chopping block.

"It truly would be devastating," Kabat said, "because of the scope and ... how those dollars get utilized, what they do and just how many lives they impact here."

Block grants, among many other things, fund the city's housing replacement program but are also used to help groups like Habitat for Humanity repair aging homes, as well providing small business development loans.

"Many small businesses here in La Crosse have been able to utilize and take part in our small business loan program," Kabat said. "The foundation of that is to help create jobs."

The block grants not only fund developments but also support local service agencies like the Boys and Girls club, the New Horizons shelter.

It would also affect funding for things like home replacement or the rehab of the old Bakalars factory.

"Those are the kind of projects that simply would not happen if we do not have community development block grant dollars," Kabat said.

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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