Mayor Mitch Reynolds on River Issues in La Crosse, and what's going on with the SMRT Act
On December 5 at 1pm, Mayor Mitch Reynolds spoke about how his city is working to mitigate these problems both as an individual city and as part of the Mississippi River City and Township Initiative (MRCTI). He also provided an update about a bill now working through Congress - the SMRT Act - that can help cities dealing with these problems.
The SMRT Act is formally the "Andrew Young Saving our Mississippi River Together" Act. At the LWV UMRR Annual Meeting, MRCTI's Brandt Thorington provided background and information on the SMRT Act. You can see the video of Brandt's talk at this link, starting at the 24.34 point.
And... here's a link to an article about how Illinois groups are urging development of a plan for navigation on the river during extreme low-flow conditions. Mayor Reynolds refers to this work in his talk.
Some info on Mayor Reynolds:
Mitch Reynolds took office as mayor of the City of La Crosse in April of 2021. This is the first elected office he has held and he was actively engaged in taking on homelessness, developing a strategy for more affordable housing, working on the PFAS contamination issue on French Island and taking part in a forward thinking public works project - building a new state of the art waste water treatment plant.
Prior to becoming mayor, Mitch was the Operations Manager for Madison-based Whole Trees, LLC and spent 16 years as a radio journalist in La Crosse at Midwest Family Broadcasting before that. He has also worked as an arborist, a bartender, a room service waiter, a crab fisherman, and a piano mover, among many other occupations.
Mitch originally hails from Michigan and spent many years in south Louisiana before moving to Wisconsin and settling in La Crosse in 1994 where he has lived since. He acquire a degree in History from UW-La Crosse and an MBA from Viterbo University. Mitch is married with two adult children and a granddaughter who all live in the community.
Mitch is also a member of Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative (MRCTI), a coalition of more than 100 municipalities along the river. It is an association of Mayors along the Mississippi River and its tributaries and businesses. Mitch will share some of the highlights of the association and bring us up-to-date with the progress of the Safeguarding the Mississippi River Together (SMRT) Act.
*Source: U of W Extension brochure: https://fyi.extension.wisc.edu/climate/files/2014/03/La-Crosse-Climate-Change-brochure7-16-12.pdf
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