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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.
For awhile, that trolley was really something in downtown La Crosse. Great for giving historic tours around town. That was two summers ago. Before the city realized its streetcar-bus hybrid wasn't getting used in a way that was acceptable to the feds. "It was purchased with federal dollars and the regulations on the city for using it as something other than public transit is the reason it's not getting used," says MTU boss Keith Carlson. So, now, the trolley's going bye-bye. Not a simple thing, says Carlson. The same federal money that went into the trolley also makes it difficult to get rid of.
A much smaller apartment building plan for Onalaska. Developers who had planned a three-story, 90 unit building at Locust and Oak Avenue North have succumbed to public pressure and cut plans by about a third. Onalaska city planner Jason Gilman believes the new, smaller development answers issues involving things like increased traffic and negative effects on neighboring properties. The new plans call for a 60 unit development.
All the people waiting to collect money from Skipperliner in La Crosse may have to keep waiting for a while...
The attorney for the town of Campbell, Brent Smith, says the appointment of a third receiver for Skipperliner does not make the settlement of company debts go faster than before. Campbell is owed 300-thousand dollars or more in loans paid to Skipperliner, before the factory closed in late April. One bank is suing to get back close to four million dollars from Skipperliner, which is still in the market for a new owner.