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.
“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.