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The problematic garbage study for La Crosse county is part of public record now. And nowhere does the study recommend starting up a government-run garbage service. The study is the one that is at the root of the ethics allegations against La Crosse mayor Matt Harter. He's accused of advocating against a study for the harm it could cause his family's garbage business. But the waste evaluation merely points out some shortcomings in the current systems. Like in recycling. County sustainability guy, Nick Nichols says La Crosse and Onalaska are clearly behind in that regard, both cities having half the recycling rate of other, similar communities studied. He says the study clearly shows there's ways to greatly increase recycling rate.
The La Crosse city council's budget meeting has been shaving pennies for weeks. But a surprise request from Rotary Lights volunteers has the council ready to spend 19 thousand dollars for new Christmas lights. The council is all in so far on a request from Rotary Lights for matching grant money so the group can buy new LED lights. Among the city council members persuaded by the group's good work in raising money and food for local pantries, Dick Swantz. But he's also in to the potential energy savings. Says fossil fuels are the source of many problems and little things like adding LED's to the Rotary Lights could be part of the solutions. The county of La Crosse has also pledged 19 thousand dollars to the LED light cause.
The La Crosse city council has its eyes turned towards the bluff this week. The council has approved the creation of a committee to sit down with surrounding towns and hash out some kind of agreement about repairing Bliss Road. The road to Grandad Bluff has been washed out for weeks. The council has also agreed to accept a DNR grant to help fund a spendy reconstruction of the park at the top of the bluff. the timing of the decisions leading to the possibility that Grandad Bluff Park might be done right about the same time the only city road to the park is back in service.
The future of La Crosse's downtown crouton factory is unclear, now that a big bread company is buying some bakery holdings from Sara Lee.
The deal between Sara Lee and Grupo Bimbo, worth nearly a billion dollars, was announced yesterday. Sara Lee is the latest owner of the bakery that has operated on Cass Street for decades. Tim Kabat of Downtown Mainstreet Incorporated is happy to have the factory in the central city, although its location next to Cameron Park may not please everyone.
Grupo Bimbo is based in Mexico, and already makes familiar American products such as Thomas's English Muffins. Bimbo reportedly is interested in expanding its U-S operations.
Right about this time next year, garbage gas will be keeping it warm at a local medical clinic. Approvals are in place for a three million dollar gas pipeline from the La Crosse county landfill. La Crosse county sustainability coordinator, Nick Nichols says the methane gas will get pumped underground to the Gundersen Lutheran clinic in Onalaska. The clinic will use the gas for electricity and heating. Marks the first time the methane that the landfill produces has been used for anything productive. It's two miles of six-inch gas pipeline, buried five feet down.