La Crosse, Wis. (WXOW) – Amid controversy, the La Crosse City Council gave it’s okay regarding the Tomah VA Medical Center’s transitional home for veterans on Thursday.
The council voted 11 to 2 in favor of the project. Council Member Gary Padesky and Council President Martin Gaul voted no.
The council’s vote grants a conditional use permit allowing the VA to move forward with the program. Named the McHilbur Home, VA officials say it will provide a valuable living experience away from a hospital campus.
Council members addressed a large number of public comments regarding the proposal at the meeting. Concerns revolved around a lack of parking in the neighborhood, as well as uncertainty in regards to the people that will call the place home.
The VA worked to inform the public on how the new program would impact La Crosse.
“Understanding the veterans that are going to be living there,” Director of the Tomah VA Victoria Brahm elaborates.
“This is a place where veterans are ready to be back in the community. Whatever stumble they had along the road they’ve received treatment for and they are ready and willing to be back. Socialize back into the community, reunite with their families, establish a stable and structured environment.”
The conditional use permit requires an annual review. Mayor of La Crosse Tim Kabat says council members already work towards creating a way to assess the success of the program next year.