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LA CROSSE MAYOR: Senior center group agrees to purchase building from city for $1; council set to vote on “Inclusive Coordinator”



FILE - Erin Goggin and Terry Collins (both seated) discuss city council action on a proposed sale of the Harry J. Olson Center on Jan. 12th, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

Last month, the La Crosse city council voted on an amended resolution to sell the building 1607 North Street for $1 to the group that runs the Harry J Olson Senior Center.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds, on La Crosse Talk PM confirmed Monday that deal has been agreed upon.

“The Harry J Olson board did approve accepting the offer to purchase the building from the city of La Crosse for $1,” Reynolds said. “We had anticipated closing that deal before March 31, so we’re going to put a bow on that one.”

The two sides had been at odds for the past few months trying to come to an agreement on conditions to purchase the building but it took less than a month for the center to make a decision.

“I’m really happy, too,” Reynolds said. “It really, I think, for this organization, they’ve done a lot of great work in our community for many years.

“We’re basically donating a building to them to continue what they’re doing. I think that they feel pretty positive about being able to continue programming and do it in a building that serves their needs, at least for the limited terms.”

In related news, Thursday at its monthly meeting (agenda here), the city council will vote on hiring an Inclusive Recreation Coordinator.

“It’s one of those things,” Reynolds said, “where the parks department really sees a need to find ways to get more people in our community engaged in recreation, and identified this as a really good way to do that — someone that’s dedicated to inclusive recreation.”

The position would pay between $27.12 and $35.58 an hour, but that money would come from within the department.

“This is one of those things that’s kind of a win-win for everybody,” Reynolds said. ” What we’re doing is taking some part-time employee positions and combining them into one full-time position so that we have someone that’s constantly working with developing inclusive recreation programs for people with disabilities — but also for our senior population, as well.

“We’re just going to add to the immense amount of senior programming that we’re providing with this inclusive recreation coordinator.”

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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  1. nick

    February 8, 2023 at 6:32 am

    What are the limited terms? This should have been done a long time ago.
    The city may be waking up to the fact that quality of life is important if they are going to have a full time person in the parks department to work on the parks trying to make sure the individuals with disabilities and the elderly have opportunities to use them more.
    There is a long way to go.

  2. Kent Porter

    February 8, 2023 at 7:53 am

    What the hell is wrong with this woke Mayor . Inclusive coordinator. I think our talk money could be spent more wisely rather than teaching our kids to hate one another
    Write. In Kent Porter forayor
    Woke will not be in our community

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