La Crosse dealing with $130,000 shortfall on hotel project

“In less than 60 days, the town is going to owe $132,127.22 for our part of the hotel,” La Crosse Town Manager F.A. Hendrick informed the town council at its monthly meeting last Thursday. “I would like to know where you would like me to get this money from.”
The funds in question stem from money financed to the town to match grant funding earmarked for repairs to the historic La Crosse Hotel.
“The previous mayor took out a loan for a large amount that was supposed to pay for this,” Councilman Tom Tanner said.
Hendrick said the loan “taken out” by former mayor Will Woodall, who Tanner was referring to, was in the amount of $300,000.
“I do believe a lot of that was used in everyday bills,” Tanner said. “That’s why it’s come down to where it is now.”
Several council members agreed.
“I am assuming now, we will need to find out what we have,” Tanner said. “That is the purpose of the Finance Committee meeting. If we knew it would be in 60 days, we probably should have met on it last month.”
“We had a half a million dollar contract, and we knew we had to pay 20 percent of it,” Hendrick said of the grant and funding. “This is nothing new.”
“It’s nothing new, but it’s from the fact that the loan was taken out for that and it was not put somewhere where it was not touched so we could pay it, so now it has fallen on this group to figure it out,” Tanner responded.
Councilman David Williams, who officiated the meeting in the absence of Mayor Jay Spence, recommended looking at the town’s finances to determine what it has and what it would need to obtain.
The town has a Finance Committee meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 7 p.m., where the issue will be discussed in further detail, according to council.