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La Crosse senior center lease could be terminated in May



A long-time community center for seniors in La Crosse may lose its lease in three months, unless it can negotiate a new lease with city leaders.

The Harry J. Olson Center’s lease will be terminated in May, on the advice of city attorney Stephen Matty.

“In the meantime, however, we will still be negotiating with the group to see if they’re going to be able to purchase the property or not,” Matty told the city’s Board of Public Works during its weekly Monday morning meeting, adding that the center did not pay its rent last year.

If the center and City Hall cannot reach an agreement, the city could buy back the north side building.

Jim Bloedorn, who serves on the Olson Center board, said he wasn’t aware that rent had not been paid.

“The Harry Olson Center is fine the way it is,” Bloedorn told the board. “We provide the attendants, we provide the management. All the park department has to do is talk to us about any programs they want to put there. That’s fine, we don’t mind.”

Bloedorn added that the programs now at Olson include exercise for seniors, along with bridge and euchre games. Other activities have been moved recently from the Olson Center to a community center at the Rubber Mills.

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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