LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – A La Crosse Council committee Tuesday authorized City attorneys to embark on negotiations with the Mississippi Valley Conservancy.
The Council voted the MVC breached its contract with the city last week, after an audit found the Conservancy has misused roughly $624-thousand in city money.
That same audit also claimed the MVC misused some $518-thousand in state money.
The Conservancy was established by the City in 1997 with the goal of preserving the bluff lands above La Crosse.
Its director has insisted that all money was properly used and accounted for, with MVC Attorney Terence Collins adding the misunderstanding is probably due to an accounting error.
"I would like to see the issue resolved by the parties coming to a firm understanding on how we can go forward and continue this bluff land preservation program," Collins said, "because if you get past all the accounting arguments and the numbers arguments and who did this or that, the issue and goal of this program is still very important."
City attorneys declined to comment following Tuesday's meeting.
They said, as the City is now supposed to be negotiating a resolution with the MVC, they did not want to increase tensions by sparking a war of words in the media.
However, Attorney Phil Addis, who is representing the City on this issue, said at a La Crosse Council meeting one week ago that he would like to see the issue resolved and the Conservancy to continue its work.
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