The La Crosse city council has given itself the option to cancel the purchase of a south-side motel for sheltering the homeless, if the owner of the motel does not make certain improvements.
At a special session Monday night, the council voted unanimously to consider revoking the February purchase of the Maple Grove Motel, if the property owner fails to correct problems found in a recent inspection.
“We found a significant number of items that we’d like to cure,” Mayor Mitch Reynolds told the council. “We’ve asked the owner of the property to cure the items in the inspection report.”
Reynolds says without a vote from the council, the city would not have the power to reverse its decision to purchase the motel.
The council voted last month to use $1.2 million in federal ARPA funds, in addition to other money, to use Maple Grove as a temporary shelter.
Speakers at the special meeting said the Salvation Army should be involved in discussions to provide more shelter for the homeless, and argued that the city was acting improperly without approval from the taxpayers on the motel purchase.