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La Crosse motel could be purchased for temporary housing for homeless



FILE - A tent with a tarp sits behind the Houska Park sign in La Crosse in late October of 2021. (PHOTO: Rick Solem)

One of the old south-side motels in La Crosse could be converted to temporary housing for the unsheltered.

The city council has a special session Tuesday night to vote on the proposed purchase of the Maple Grove Motel on Mormon Coulee Road.

This plan comes nearly three months after city and county officials attempted to buy the Chamber of Commerce headquarters, before a private purchase cash offer of $2.1 million was accepted.

And, just last week, the city’s Park Board made Houska Park a temporary campground for the year, as the deal to shelter homeless in the Econo Lodge expires April 1.

During the meeting, La Crosse Police Chief Shawn Kudron said there has been an average of 100 calls to the Econo Lodge a month, though they are mostly “trouble with party” calls, which means it’s more of a concern with an individual, not criminal or dangerous.

The motel along Highway 35 has been available for sale. The city could spend as much as $1.2 million of ARPA funding on the purchase. The city used $700,000 in funding on the Econolodge deal.

A resolution says the motel site could be converted to multiple family housing in the near future.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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1 Comment

  1. Kent Porter

    February 22, 2022 at 1:24 pm

    2 million dollars of our tax money to house homeless drug and alcohol addicts , why dont you have them get treatment and send them to Tech School for a trade course so they can pay their own rent and bills like the rest of us have to , sounds like the Mayor is just kickin the can down the road again !!!!!!!!!!

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