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City officials have begun process declaring old south-side library “surplus property,” as plans for its use to be discussed next week



The former South Branch library in La Crosse has been closed for more than a month, because of city budget cuts.

FILE – Customers stand at the service desk of La Crosse’s South Branch library on 16th Street on Oct. 10, 2023 (PHOTO: Brad Williams)

People living near the library building will meet next week to discuss ideas for how to use that property now.

The 6 p.m. Monday meeting will take place at the Faith United Methodist Church on Redfield Street.

City officials have begun the process of declaring the library on 16th Street as “surplus property,” which could eventually be sold.

During budget time last year, the city council cut $100,000 in funding for the library system, and the library board in late November voted to shut down the south-side branch.

Materials from the South Branch were transferred to the two remaining city libraries on Main Street and Gillette Street.

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. Kent Porter

    January 16, 2024 at 7:29 am

    Mayor Mitch should make it a homeless shelter

    • Yvonne

      January 16, 2024 at 9:28 am

      And the city would spend millions to rehabilitate it. I thought Mitch and the city were cutting spending.
      I’m sure you don’t live near that building or you wouldn’t be so quick at suggesting it be a homeless shelter. I’m sure the neighbors would love that.

  2. Carol Herlitzka

    January 16, 2024 at 7:36 am

    What a waste of money. Lets see what nonsense goes there. I voted there, used library when I was in school. Now we have 1 library in laCrosse? This town has always been hard to shop in. That is why
    Shopping malls have done so well. Making it hard for sr. Citizens to park, and shop. This has been happening for years…? Maybe they can give the building away! And spend more to build another !ibrary. people start being accountable for throughing away our tax dollars. Start showing the tax
    Payers you can be responsible workers for your voters?????

  3. Patrick Burns

    January 16, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Great spot for more standard housing and business location for dental center? Not an exempt use.

  4. Bison

    January 17, 2024 at 8:22 pm

    There is a plan for this land, but the plebs have not yet been informed. Closing this library for lack of $100,000 of a $80 million City budget (1/10 of one percent) makes no sense; there is a hidden agenda.

  5. Walden

    January 17, 2024 at 8:30 pm

    They could always close all the libraries and then build a new one…sort of like what the School District wants to do with the schools.

    Maybe tear down Emerson School and build a new library in its place…and then tear down the old library and build a new school in its place. Makes perfect sense if you’re in government spending other peoples money.

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