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La Crosse city committee backs some changes in camping rules at parks, but does not give direction to full council



City leaders in La Crosse are divided on how to prevent homeless people from camping in local parks.

By a 4-to-3 vote on Wednesday, the city council judiciary committee endorsed a new amendment that would alter a plan discussed last month. Council member Mark Neumann says the June proposal, amended by the new resolution on Wednesday, would have prevented the board of public works from banning camping in certain places.

Citizens concerned about camping in La Crosse parks attend a city council committee meeting on Wednesday

“Essentially what it does is it puts back (that) the board of public works from time to time can identify areas that are no camping in La Crosse.” said Neumann.

He says that would continue a policy approved by the city more than 40 years ago. But the committee deadlocked on whether the full council should pass that amendment, so the measure goes to the council next week without a recommendation.

At the committee meeting, business owners and others aired their frustrations and fears about the homelessness problem downtown, saying they’re losing customers, or feeling afraid to go near parking ramps where some people have chosen to live. Neumann says posting “no camping” signs would not solve the problem. He suggests having the no-camping rule on-line would be more effective than having signs that people could take down.

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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  1. Bob

    July 6, 2023 at 6:08 am

    Neumann thinks “No Camping” signs should be on-line instead of in the parks? Doc-I don’t think the homeless check internet legal postings before they pitch their tents. Anchor those “No Camping” signs in a yard of cement.

    To watch the Council tip-toe around this scourge trying to not offend the squatters is remarkable. Those parks belong to taxpayers, who pay to maintain them, not the drifters who crap and smoke dope in them.

  2. R head

    July 6, 2023 at 7:41 am

    The La Crosse comic council have there heads up there ass again! It looks like there on the same page as Mitch! La Crosse get the homeless they deserve. I hope a lot more move in.

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