A long-debated plan to open a transitional group home for veterans in La Crosse has one opponent who doesn’t seem like he’s going to budge.
City council member Gary Padesky represents the neighborhood from which Dave and Barb Erickson want to donate their home to the VA.
The agency wants to put a transitional home there.
Padesky calls it one of the most contentious and emotional issues he’s had to deal with on the council.
“It’s very emotional but, what I’ve tried to explain to people is, you can’t vote on emotion,” Padesky said. “You have to vote on what the facts are.
“The vets, who need help,” Padesky said, “we have to help them, absolutely. But, it just has to be the right situation, the right place.”
With that, Padesky says the facts support his stance that the VA home simply doesn’t fit in the area around the Erickson home at 3120 Farnam Street.
“It doesn’t matter what the group home is,” Padesky said. “Again, you gotta take the emotions out.
“It doesn’t matter that it’s a vets’ group home. It’s still just another group home and it’s just not good for the neighborhood.”
The VA wants to establish the transitional home where up to eight veterans would live there at one time.
Neighbors have repeatedly expressed concerns about a hit to property values, crime and other issues if the home is allowed to open. The VA has said those concerns have little or no basis in fact.
After months of delays, the council is poised to vote on the seven-bedroom home at meetings next month.