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Dredging of Lake Onalaska will be helped by $50,000 in funding by La Crosse County

Posted on March 25, 2024

La Crosse County will help fund planned dredging of Lake Onalaska with $50,000.

The county board approved the request Thursday night, to use county tax money for the dredging work.

Supervisor Gary Padesky said outdoor recreation in the area has become more popular in recent years, partly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During that time, it was very important for people to have some kind of outlet when they couldn’t be around people,” Padesky told the board. “This is just something obviously for people to get out, and take advantage of and enjoy.”

Only David Hundt voted against the request. Hundt, who represents District 26 around West Salem, said he backs the lake project, but many taxpayers in his district do not support the use of county taxes for it.

Hundt added that years from now, the county will have to dredge the lake again and it won’t cost $3 million, but maybe closer to $5 million.

The project is expected to cost at least $350,000.

“Every nickel that we can get in there is important, and like I say, taxpayers that I represent are up in arms about this,” Hundt said.

The dredging would help improve access to Lake Onalaska and the Mississippi River, as well as promote the growth of fish there. Sediment has been building up on the lake bottom because of an increased flow of water at Lake Onalaska in recent years.


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