New rules for automated trash pickup

Trash day can be tricky. It can be hard to keep all the rules straight. Here is some information from WKBT-La Crosse:

Both Onalaska and La Crosse are in the process of rolling out a new way to get rid of your garbage, and along with the new process come need-to-know changes for residents.

Harter’s Quick Clean-Up company is contracted with both cities for automated trash pick-up. Onalaska launched its program at the start of January, and La Crosse has just begun to set out the new bins for its residents. It’s a slow-going process that city officials say will get more efficient over time, as residents become more accustomed to it.

Placement of the new bins is the most important. The carts have to be three feet apart. Don’t put them right next to your garage or too close to a car, buildings and light poles.

Full implementation of the program in La Crosse is scheduled for the beginning of February, once all city residents have received their new bins. Starting on the first Monday of next month, garbage trucks will no longer empty old garbage cans – they’ll only be picking up the new ones.

If you’re looking to get rid of your old garbage cans, you may leave them out on recycling day for Harter’s to pick up. City officials say to make sure you mark them with a sign so drivers know which can to throw away.

Things to do: Jan. 25 at USFWS Visitor Center

There are two activities going on Jan. 25 at the USFWS Visitor Center.

eagle2013From 9 a.m. to noon, there will be an eagle viewing tour. Preregistration is required. Stewards of the Upper Mississippi River Refuge (SUMRR) will be hosting several bald eagle viewing trips on each Saturday starting on January 11 through January 25th. February trips will be on: Friday the 7th, Sunday the 16th and Friday the 21st. We will leave the Ingersoll Wetlands Learning Center promptly at 9:00 a.m. and travel to various locations along the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge returning by noon. February 16th will be an afternoon trip starting at 2:00 p.m. and turning by 5:00 p.m. There is no fee, but seating is limited so reserve your space today.

At 1 p.m. there will be a seminar “Unravel the Mysteries of the Common Loon” presented by Kevin Kenow, Research Wildlife Biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Kevin’s research has focused on issues related to conserving migratory birds and their habitats along the Upper Mississippi River and development of regional and national common loon conservation strategies. He has recently been using some unique technology to look at migration and foraging patterns of common loons breeding in the Upper Midwest, along with related issue of avian botulism in the Great Lakes.

La Crosse District Visitor Center and Offices are located at N5727 County Road Z, Onalaska, WI 54650.

School supplies

When I was walking around Target the other day, the school supply display took me by surprise.

Is it really the end of July? Is it already time for the school supplies to come out?

I can’t believe it and I’m sure there are many kids that don’t want to believe it, but, new pencils, pens, folders and notebooks are in their future.

Here’s a little crystal ball of sorts in the form of some local districts’ school supplies. If there is a list that we are missing (for example, the Sparta School District), let us know!

Bangor

Elementary

Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau

Galesville Elementary

Ettrick Elementary

Middle School

Trempealeau Elementary

Holmen

Holmen Middle School

Prairie View Elementary

Sand Lake Elementary

Viking Elementary

La Crosse

Coulee Montessori Elementary

Hamilton Early Learning

Hintgren Elemetary

Lincoln Middle School/SOTA II/Coulee Montessori MIddle School

Logan Middle School

Longfellow Middle School/La Crosse Design

North Woods International Elementary

Northside Elementary

School of Technology and Arts

Southern Bluffs Elementary

Spence Elementary

State Road School (click under the academics tab and scroll to find appropriate grade)

Summit Elementary

Onalaska

Eagle Bluff Elementary

Irving Pertzsch Elementary

Northern Hills Elementary

Onalaska Kindergarten Center

West Salem

Elementary

Middle School

Good luck to those new students!

La Crosse Fine Homes Group of Keller Williams Realty

La Crosse County homes sales increase in June

We hope everybody’s Monday is going great.

The La Crosse Fine Homes Group was delivered good news in terms of housing numbers as the the Wisconsin REALTORS Association released the June 2013 housing statistics for the state.

La Crosse County had a busy month. Home sales skyrocketed while the median home price continued its up-and-down trend, but it’s all good news as the housing market is recovering.

All regions of the state saw healthy growth in home sales through the first six months of 2013 over last year. The regions with the strongest growth were the South Central, up 15.7 percent; the West, up 13.4 percent (that’s us!); and the Southeast, up 12 percent. Growth in the other three regions was also solid, ranging between 9.9 percent for the Central region and 7.3 percent for the Northeast region, to 6.9 percent in the North.

Specifically, June was a busy month for home sales in La Crosse County, which is usually how it is, but compared to last year, real estate agents were taking care of business in 2013. Not even the rainy months of March and April stopped buyers from getting out in the market.

As far as Monroe, Trempealeau and Vernon counties, numbers have been business as usual.

Here’s a look at La Crosse County:

Number of home sales

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun YTD (2013 through June)
2007 78 67 116 126 129 136 1204
2008 45 89 92 107 129 122 1119
2009 38 53 61 97 108 163 1126
2010 41 45 107 130 140 133 1024
2011 39 36 68 81 90 108 916
2012 63 57 83 105 118 133 1216
2013 79 59 120 118 151 171 773

Median home prices:

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun YTD
2007 137800 135000 135400 141250 150000 142450 140000
2008 136500 136800 139000 149155 151000 159750 145000
2009 141950 138000 125000 134500 129500 138900 137000
2010 137500 140000 139900 137500 127100 145000 138000
2011 125000 122500 134500 127500 137250 141250 140000
2012 130000 130000 137000 127000 152250 145000 145500
2013 148900 128500 138525 147750 139000 154900 144900

Here’s a look at the region:

west housing

According to the WRA’s press release, Wisconsin home sales rose an  11.4 percent in the first six months of 2013 compared to last year. In June alone, Wisconsin home sales were up 3.1 percent relative to last June, posting the 24th straight month of positive sales growth in the state. Median prices also continued to increase year-to-date, rising 7.7 percent to $140,000 compared to the first half of 2012. In June, prices were up 12.3 percent to $159,500 compared to June 2012.

The high prices aren’t a bad thing for affordable housing, as homes in Wisconsin remain a good value. The Wisconsin Housing Affordability Index (HAI) showsthe percent of the median-priced home that a buyer earning the estimated median family income can afford to buy, assuming current mortgage rates and a 20 percent down payment. In June, the index was at 214, indicating that a household with median family income of $63,100 can afford to buy 214 percent of the median priced home of $159,500. This is down from 239 in May and significantly below its peak of 292 in January of this year.

Were you one of the recent home sellers/buyers?

Have a great week and give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest to keep that boredom away.

La Crosse Fine Homes Group of Keller Williams Realty