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Rec commission question looms for Rush Co.


LA CROSSE -- Creation of a recreation commission that has "something for everybody" is the hope of a committee of La Crosse residents.

A special question to establish a recreation commission for La Crosse USD 395 will be on the ballot during Tuesday's election.

The ballot question asks for levy of an annual tax not to exceed 4 mills to provide recreation activities and services to the patrons of USD 395.

Julie Haas has been rallying support for the measure, and with committee members Bailey Morgan and Tracy Grumbien, has been facilitating meetings in La Crosse and McCracken.

"The majority of people that were there in La Crosse were supportive and spoke up to that effect," Haas said of the Tuesday night community meeting.

Haas said when she moved to La Crosse from Pratt in 2011, she saw there were few activities offered for her three children, the youngest of whom was 3 years old.

She said she envisions a recreation commission that provides not only youth programs, such as summer baseball and after-school programs, but adult activities, including card-playing leagues, day trips, volleyball and basketball.

Funding for the recreation commission would go toward hiring one full-time and one summer employee.

Bill Keeley, superintendent of USD 395, said the school district's involvement in the commission doesn't extend beyond its taxing authority to authorize the ballot question.

"Several people have tried to get a recreation commission started here, and for various reasons, it's not come to fruition," he said. "But Julie and her committee have really pushed this thing along."