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Residents of Homer campaign to save current town hall



One area town’s proposal for a new government building seems to have taken some town residents by surprise.

A government request for proposals to build a new town hall in Homer, Minn, south of Winona, has led to worries in town that the existing 100-year-old hall could be torn down.

Citizen Jeanne Nelson said the Homer town board needs to do a better job of publicizing what’s going to be discussed at board meetings.

“We don’t have a way to easily find out this information,” Nelson told WIZM’s La Crosse Talk on Thursday. “A lot of townships throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, they’re all on Facebook, realizing that that’s a better way to communicate.”

Nelson added that a meeting notice on paper is posted by the town board, but she doesn’t know if agenda items are routinely listed.

Homer town leaders have run newspaper notices, seeking bids for a new town hall, which could be financed with about $140,000 in American Rescue Plan Act relief money. A demonstration this week aimed at saving the current town hall, a former schoolhouse, drew about two dozen people.

The brick town hall dates back to around 1920.

“We will have ample number of legal Homer township voters on this petition,” says Nelson, “and we will give notice to the board that we want to have…a public meeting so that our voices can be heard.”

Town leaders in Homer say the building proposals have been discussed at town board meetings for a year, but citizens haven’t showed up for the meetings. A public session tentatively has been scheduled for April 10.

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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