The Onalaska Common Council unanimously approved a $9.8 million 2018 capital improvements budget Tuesday night.
The city has nearly $4 million worth of general projects planned for 2018 though City Engineer Jarrod Holter said many of the projects won’t be completed until 2019.
The city also plans use mortgage revenue bonds, which are backed by utility fees, to finance an additional $5.8 million worth of water, sewer and stormwater projects.
The budget signaled victories for many concerned citizens who spoke out in support of various projects.
In a win for the Onalaska Cemetery Committee, the Common Council approved the addition of $60,000 to complete fencing along 12th Ave. and Hickory Street. In the last two months, dozens of community members have spoken out in support of the cemetery project urging the Board of Public Works to include funds to complete it.
Cemetery Committee Chairwoman Lois Riniker said she was pleased to see the Common Council approve the amended budget.
Also included in the 2018 budget was a preliminary study of the East Main Street, Greens Coulee intersection.
More than half a dozen village residents, many of whom live in the Greens Coulee, have spoken out in recent months urging city officials to take action to address dangerous congestion at the intersection.
Nearly $3 million of the proposed budget will go towards the renovation of East Main Street, Holiday Heights, and Theater and Riders Club Roads.
According to Holter while the board approved the budget Tuesday, the mortgage revenue bonding won’t be finalized until mid 2019.
Meanwhile, Common Council members Robert Muth and Harvey Bertrand have announced they won’t be running in the spring elections.
“I’ve decided not to run for my fourth term as second-district alderperson,” Muth said. “I am extremely proud and privileged to be a part of a city council that has worked with the city staff, committees and citizens to accomplish so much.”
He thanked the city staff who he’d had the pleasure of working with during his tenure on the board.
“The City of Onalaska is the greatest place on earth to live,” Muth said. “Our citizen’s standards of schools, parks, churches, the community’s appearance and it’s unbelievable caring for those who are less fortunate is an example to all the world.”
Bertrand, who attended the meeting via phone after contracting pneumonia, did not speak to his retirement from the board.