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La Crosse County leaders OK $20 million financing plan to modernize Hillview nursing home



Some La Crosse County board members have reservations about spending millions of dollars to improve a long-time nursing home.

The county board, however, voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to approve the $20-million funding plan for modernizing the Hillview Health Care Center on La Crosse’s far south side.

Of that money, $12 million in federal ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds would go toward the project. The county would spend $8 million on bonds for the rest.

Wanda Plachecki, director of long-term care for the county, said the improvements would serve a large variety of people in the future.

“When we look at 24 beds, or 60 beds, or 200 beds, we’re talking about the number of people that we’re serving,” Plachecki told the board. “So today we might be serving 54 out of those 60 beds that are currently licensed in the nursing home, but I do not look at it any more in terms of what is licensed as what.”

Bridge housing for the homeless and assisted living quarters are two of the services the county plans to offer, after Hillview is renovated.

At a previous meeting this month, some supervisors balked at the idea of spending $3 million on a portion of the complex, where 10 people would be in bridge housing at any one time, saying that wasn’t enough.

County administrator Jane Klekamp noted that local officials have spent more than a decade debating what to do with the Hillview property.

“Some of the reason we’ve just never really been able to manage what was going to happen with it is funding,” she said. “And this opportunity, with ARPA, is one of the ways that we can bring Hillview into the 21st century.”

A day care facility is also included in the new plan, but Klekamp added that the county would not be running it.

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. Not Quite

    September 21, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    The County Board had trouble spending the millions in ARPA funding on anything that benefited the general public…its all been special interests and NGOs that made off with the loot.

    This Hillview project had the potential to be the exception…but no, we had to work in $3 million for the homeless. And don’t forget along with that will come 50 years of expense to take care of them.

    • Lawrence R Hamilton

      October 25, 2023 at 1:17 am

      Why such hate for homeless? It’s not very becoming. I think that it is brave of the county to help despite the not in my back yard, not in my city, get a job or get on a bus. I feel sorry for you.


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