Audit Clears Conservancy of Fund Misuse


An audit confirms that a La Crosse land trust did properly use state and city funds to purchase bluffland, ending a drawn-out, bitter dispute among the parties.

According to the Department of Natural Resources, Mississippi Valley Conservancy did use grant money and city funds appropriately to help protect the La Crosse area’s bluffs from future development. The state and the city of La Crosse questioned MVC’s accounting practices and expenses earlier this year. MVC officials said all along they did not do anything wrong and accused city officials of trying to funnel money into the parks department.

MVC Executive Director Tim Jacobson says as part of the resolution, they’ll finally transfer seven parcels of bluffland to the city next week, “It had always been the intent of the program that the city would be the ultimate owner of the properties that we acquired when we used city funds for purchasing them.”

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Jacobson says they have their eyes on a few more properties that could use protection status.

Calls made to the city of La Crosse were directed to a private attorney, who was unavailable to comment Tuesday.