Frequently Asked Questions


 What is the City's Ordinance regarding lawn length?

The City requires that lawns, grasses, and noxious weeds on lots, and parcels of land be kept trimmed below 8 inches in length as per Section 8-1-7 of the City's Code of Ordinances. It is important to control weed growth and grass length to protect the adjacent established lawns, reduce fire hazards, and decrease the amount of pollen emitted. The City enforces this by mailing a notice to property owners who not in compliance. If the area is not mowed after two notices have been sent, the City will hire a private contractor to mow and bill the property owner.

 What is the City's Ordinance regarding removal of snow from sidewalks?

The City requires that all snow and ice be removed from public sidewalks within 24 hours of any snowfall. In an effort to keep public sidewalks safe, the City enforces this requirement by first informing property owners who have not complied by mail. If the sidewalk is not cleared after a notice has been sent, the City will hire a private contractor to remove the snow or ice and bill the property owner.

  Election Information

Residents are divided into three Aldermanic Districts, each represented by two elected Alderpersons. Voter pre-registration is advised and processed through the City Clerk's office (identification is required). Registration is possible at the polls on Election Day, although is not advised. Polling locations are as follows:

  • First Aldermanic District: Onalaska Omni Center, 255 Riders Club Rd.
  • Second Aldermanic District: National Guard Armory, 910 Oak Forest Dr.
  • Third Aldermanic District: National Guard Armory, 910 Oak Forest Dr.

Sample ballots are posted at City Hall and published in the local newspaper prior to the election. Absentee ballots can be obtained at the City Clerk's office, 415 Main St., First Floor. Please contact the City Clerk in reference to the most recent laws regarding absentee ballot procedures, timelines, eligibility and qualifications.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on election day.

 How much will my taxes be this December?

City residents in the School District of Onalaska paid property taxes of $2,081.00 on a $100,000 in 2012. City residents in the School District of Holmen paid $2,262 on a home assessed at $100,000 in 2012.

 When and where do I pay taxes and utility bills?

Taxes may be paid by December 31st each year to take advantage of a deduction for the previous year's income taxes. They may also be paid by January 31st each year without penalty or in two installments on January 31st and July 31st. The first payment must be made to the City of Onalaska if you chose the installment option, the second payment is made to the County Treasurer's Office. Utility bills are sent out quarterly on January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st and due on January 20th, April 20th, July 20th and October 20th, respectively. Utility bills are payable to the City of Onalaska at 415 Main Street, Onalaska, Wisconsin 54650.

 Where can I obtain public records?

Public record can be obtained in the City Clerk's Office upon request. The response time will depend upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, the nature and extent of the request, number of available personnel to respond to the request, etc. All public record requests will be handled as soon as practicable and without delay.

 What is the cost of a public record?

A requester shall be charged a fee of twenty five cents (25¢) per page to defray the cost of copying records. The actual cost of duplication shall be charged for oversized documents and maps. Information released on disk or CD will be at a cost of $5.00 per disk/CD. There shall be no charge for locating a record beyond the copying charges already listed, unless the actual cost therefore exceeds Fifty Dollars ($50.00), in which case the actual cost shall be determined by the legal custodian and billed to the requester.


 When and where do I pay dog and cat licenses?

Dogs and cats must be licensed by the age of 5 months. Licenses for newly owned cats and dogs are available year round in the City Clerk's office, First Floor. Renewal licenses are available to purchase December - March 31st at City Hall. Licenses are effective from January 1st through December 31st. The cost is $14.00 per animal for spayed or neutered animals and $25.00 per animal for non-spayed or unneutered animals. Renewal licenses are delinquent if purchased after April 1st with a $25 late fee charge per animal. Please call 781-9530 with questions. Please note: Current proof of rabies vaccination must be presented in writing or on file for licensing.

**Liquor, bartenders, parade, picnic, block party, solicitor permits and other such licenses/permits are available at the City Clerk's office.

 When is household refuse picked up?

The City of Onalaska services 1 - 4 plex residences once each week depending on your location. Recycling bins are available at the Engineering/Planning Department, Second Floor. Large item pick-up, leaf pick-up and other questions are answered in our recycling brochure or contact the Recycling Hotline - 781-9500 or Harter Quick Clean-Up at 782-2082 (Contracted out service).

See Recycling & Refuse webpage for more information.

 Where do I dispose of Waste Oil or Paint?

Waste oil should be taken to the La Crosse County Hazardous Waste site for disposal. Paint cans, full or partially full, can also be taken to the Hazardous waste site, where it is recycled. Empty, dry paint cans should be placed in your recycle bin. Please call the Hazardous Waste site at 785-9999 for hours.

 Building permits/Inspections

New construction, signage remodeling, plumbing, electrical, dumpster and other such improvements or building construction permits can be obtained from the Inspection Dept., Second Floor, 781-9541.

 Engineering and Public Works

Mapping, erosion control, sidewalk, street, water and sewer questions can be directed to Engineering Department, Second Floor and/or the Director of Public Works, 781-9537. See Street Index Map & Street Map on our website at Departments/Mapping.


Open positions are posted in the Human Resources office at City Hall and on the City website under Employment Opportunities. Applications for posted positions can be obtained in the Human Resources office at City Hall, by calling 781-9530, or from the City website. Applications are accepted for posted positions only, and a separate application must be completed for each position. City of Onalaska is an equal employment opportunity employer and is a drug-free workplace.

 After Hours concerns or emergencies

Contact Police Non-Emergency Dispatch at 785-5940 or dial 911 in an emergency.