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City board bans camping near La Crosse Center, Pump House at Monday meeting, while one member objects



FILE - Pump House Regional Arts Center in downtown La Crosse.

Two more public areas of La Crosse have been added to the list of places where camping will not be allowed.

The city’s Board of Public Works made that decision at its weekly Monday morning meeting, responding to requests from the Pump House Regional Arts Center, as well as the La Crosse Center.

Pump House director, Allison Krzych, said during the meeting, she has seen unsheltered people camping in different parts of downtown.

Krzych told the board about people writing on picnic tables and leaving garbage behind. She said she worries about the safety of others who are downtown for arts events.

Meanwhile, board member Rebecca Schwarz voiced her concerns about the decision.

“I’m not particularly interested in doing preemptive spaces, when we don’t have a known and demonstrated public safety concern in that particular space,” Schwarz said.

City Parks, Recreation and Forestry director Jay Odegaard, who also oversees the La Crosse Center, said camping is currently permitted in the walkway area between the Center and the Radisson Hotel.

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 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Brandon

    August 16, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    Camping should be eliminated everywhere in the city except for private property. Our kids Parks are not campgrounds for homeless. Neither are our sidewalks or alleys or industrial areas. Business owners don’t need this in our city. If you travel up the Mississippi to any other town its not acceptable but we’ve normalized it here and because of it they have come from far away to trash up our city. Go to Lake City or Red Wing… do you see homeless people sleeping on the park benches in the middle of the day in front of businesses? No. These are transients not from here. Sorry tough love

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