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The city council's Committee of the Whole decides to wait a month before making any new appointments to the fire staff. If the full council approves tomorrow night, the Finance and Personnel Committee would spend the next month reviewing eight open positions. It would also look for other ways to save money in the fire department. Council members rejected the idea of appointing a special committee to spend 60 days reviewing the fire budget.
They're shooting for two million dollars this year...
The Great Rivers United Way is already 40 per cent of the way to its goal for the fall campaign. Pacesetter companies in the area have raised 800-thousand dollars so far. United Way marketing director Jen Lewis says the goal is slightly above last year's level, because cuts in government funding have led to a greater need of money for La Crosse area service agencies.
Does La Crosse have enough parking ramps for you yet?
As a new ramp rises near the La Crosse riverfront, the U-W-L campus is moving ahead with its plans for a 600-stall ramp. Admittedly, it's not on the top of Chancellor Joe Gow's to-do list, but it's coming up soon, with construction ready to start next fall. The cost of a long-term parking permit at U-W-L would rise about 80 dollars, to pay for the combination ramp and police station. Earlier this week, Gow said a renovation of the Cowley Science Hall might have to wait until after 2015, because the campus power plant needs to be modernized first.
It's like finding an extra five bucks in your pocket. Except bigger. Way bigger. The city of La Crosse is sitting on a wad of cash that has now grown bigger than $20 million. It's not mad money. It's money that's in a revolving fund balance to deal with unexpected expenses and to pay bills in case shared revenue from the state comes in late. Still, the city's never passed the $20 million mark for the fund balance in the past. The city's auditor says, while some of that money is committed to other uses, about $19.5 million of it can be used.
The La Crosse fire department may soon be able to save some money. By hiring new firefighters. A city council committee has given the okay to allow the department to start filling lingering vacancies. It's those vacancies that are costing the department record amounts of overtime. But those same vacancies take time to fill, says fire chief Gregg Cleveland. He says the department, with the number of openings it has right now, would be hard pressed to fill all those openings immediately. New hires in the department have been frozen to this point by mayor Matt Harter.