Wednesday - September 6, 2017 3:13 am

Split vote but committee approves Coulee Council on Addictions facility, despite opposition from neighbors

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The $3 million facility would go up half-block from middle school

A La Crosse city council committee has approved a controversial zoning change for a troubled neighborhood. 

Tuesday, the committee gave a thumbs up to a new location for Coulee Council on Addictions (CCA) - in the Washburn neighborhood, a half-block from Lincoln Middle School - on the 900 block of Ferry St.

Rita Magno lives nearby and she says the idea goes against ongoing revitalization efforts.

"The goal has been to improve the housing and to improve the livability of that neighborhood," Magno said at the meeting. "It doesn't mater if you add one more institution and one more agency that can serve the downtrodden.

"This isn't fear my friends. This is the reality that it's fine to have these fine institutions. Who's going to live in those neighborhoods?"

The change was approved, despite a split vote from the committee. Next week, the full council will have to OK the zoning changes.

Some of the stories told at the meeting talked of broken promises or hidden plans by the city, opposing the new CCA facility.

Michelle Staehly bought a lot to build a single-family home in the neighborhood with the idea that she was part of a move towards rehabilitation.

"In all our preparations and research in deciding on this lot, not once was it mentioned that the CCA would possibly be building their expansive facility in our backyard," she said at the meeting. "I'm frustrated in the fact that we believed in the city and believed the

Washburn neighborhood was going to be revitalized residentially.

"We believed we were on the forefront and a great example to many families to move to this area and see what La Crosse has to offer."

The new CCA facility will cost around $3 million.

Last modified on Wednesday - September 6, 2017 3:29 am
Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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