The plan to designate Houska Park in La Crosse as a temporary campground could be reaffirmed by the city council this week.
An attempt to reverse the campground status was discussed in committee last week. The council is being advised not to reverse the park board’s decision.
Jay Odegaard, the city’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry director, said on WIZM’s La Crosse Talk that even if indoor shelter is offered, some people will want to live outdoors anyway.
“Largely in part this is, designation is so that we can continue to monitor the rest of our city parks and public property and follow the ordinances that have been laid down,” Odegaard said.
In late November, the city used $700,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funding to contract with the Econo Lodge Hotel to give homeless people rooms for winter. That agreement ends on April 1.
Odegaard said allowing unsheltered people to stay in Houska during the spring and summer is aimed at preventing them from camping in other locations.