Housing Shows Signs of Life in La Crosse Area
There might be room for optimism in the local housing market.
From State Bank Financial in La Crosse, senior v-p Wayne Oliver is encouraged by things he sees like the number of businesses that are hiring. Something that always has to happen, he says, before the housing market picks up. Oliver says mortgage applications are growing as hiring picks up in the area.
Biggest movement appears to be in existing homes in the 130 to 170 thousand dollar price range.
Although home sales and prices across the state for June were both down considerably from last year, the consensus is those numbers have been skewed by last year's home buyer tax credits.
La Crosse Republican Leader Downplays Party Rifts
Regardless of how the deficit talks in Washington turn out, are we seeing signs of a Republican party splinter?
Tea Party republicans have been occasionally vocal in their criticisms of the mainstream GOP in handling the debt ceiling crisis. But La Crosse county republican party chair Bill Feehan thinks those are minor differences. In the end, he says, all republicans can agree that the government is spending too much money and taking too much in taxes.
And, Feehan says, it's always the democrats who are proponents of lots of spending and taxes; also something all republicans should agree on.
Johnson New La Crosse County Board Chair
Lacrosse County has a new board chair. It's Tara Johnson. She was voted in Thursday night by her surrounding supervisors. The District 18 Representative replaces Steve Doyle, who was recently elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. Doyle has retained his seat on the county board. Johnson has been a board member for the past 11 years. She is also a former director of the Lacrosse Area United Way.
PCS Gets Extension For CAPX 2020
Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas has extended the Public Service Commission's decision deadline on the proposed 345-kilovolt Cap X 2020 line to December 6th in an order the PSC made public yesterday.
The proposed line, which has been met with quite a bit of criticism the past couple of weeks, would cross the Mississippi River near Alma, pass through Buffalo and Trempealeau counties before terminating at a substation near Holmen.
The PSC had determined last month that the joint application from Dairyland Power Cooperative, Xcel Energy and Wisconsin Public Power was complete but acknowledged it would need more than the 180 days it's given by statute to act on major project requests.
Is There Lead In Lacrosse River Marsh?
Two UW-L professors have found potentially toxic lead contamination in the La Crosse River marsh that could be a threat to the waterfowl, muskrats, turtles and other species that live there. The La Crosse Gun Club operated on the northeast side of Myrick Park between 1932 and 1963, and hosted regional, state and national trapshooting competitions. By the trail entrance on the marsh’s south side, big slabs of concrete mark spots where sportsmen aimed their shotguns at clay pigeons. The lead shot fired from their guns fell into the muddy waters and sank. The bad news is all this lead is potentially contaminating the soil of the marsh.
Preliminary data from 2 UW-L professors collected shows the lead concentration at greater than 1,200 parts per million in some places — a level three times higher than what the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe. The two stress their research is preliminary and there may be no environmental concerns for the wildlife or vegetation in the La Crosse River marsh. Right now their goal is to determine how much lead is in the marsh and where.
Stephanie Hanna, education manager for the Myrick Hixon EcoPark, says the information Perroy and Belby generate could be used to help educate the public about the marsh, located in the EcoPark’s backyard. Hanna says the research would ultimately help people make decisions about living sustainability within their environment. The data could also aid future chemical and biological studies at UW-L and elsewhere. While collecting aquatic insects in the marsh a couple years ago, Roger Haro, a UW-L biology professor, found several baby dragonflies with a deformed antennae. Potential follow-up research for Haro would be studying areas in the marsh where they’ve found high concentrations of lead to see if the incidence of deformities in invertebrates is higher in those areas.