LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -- A proposal to install new transient docks at Riverside Park could be on hold until 2015.
Gar Amunson, Superintendent of Parks, said the roughly $350-thousand project was scheduled to be included in his department's budget for 2014.
But Amunson said the city is being asked to cut its expenses to comply with state budget standards. He said that's resulted in an expected $30-million or so in capital improvement money being put on the chopping block.
Amunson said that will likely include the dock proposal when the budget is finalized later this year. He said he hopes the docks will be included in the 2015 city budget.
The city had such docks installed at Riverside Park as recently as three years ago, Amunson said. But he said the docks were removed when they became "beat up."
Dave Clements, the Executive Director of the La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he believes the docks would provide an economic boost to the area near Riverside Park and downtown.
"I think transient docks just add to the ambiance of the whole community," Clements said. "We are a river town. We have this connection to the river. Why not make it more welcoming for boaters?"
Clements said he envisions travelers coming to La Crosse via boat, docking at Riverside Park and then meandering downtown to restaurants and bars.
But Amunson said the docks would not disturb the serene atmosphere commonly found at the park. He stressed overnight docking would not be permitted.
The docks would be located just south of the roundabout and fountain -- near where the Mississippi Explorer tour boat commonly docks.
Amunson said the docks would be located to the south of the Explorer and continue to the south end of the park.
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