LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- The Harry J. Olson Senior Center has been receiving threats of eviction from the City of La Crosse after the expiration of their lease in 2020.
Negotiations have been in place for the organization to purchase the building for the last two years. Executive Director of the Harry J. Olson Senior Center Erin Goggin said the city broke faith on their original promise to sell the building for one dollar.
“Harry J. Olson was given the option to buy the building for one dollar with no restrictions or no covenants,” Goggin said. “They came back to us with the paperwork with the dollar price tag but with an ownerless list of covenants and restrictions.”
La Crosse Mayor Mitch Reynolds stated that since the lease expired the organization has not paid rent the entirety of 2021 and 2022. And that certain conditions are natural in an agreement to sell the property for one dollar.
“City taxpayers have put hundreds of thousands of dollars of maintenance and capital projects into that building and so anybody could expect their would be conditions and one of those conditions were to have a voting booth there,” Mayor Reynolds said.
Mayor Reynolds also added that if the building were to be sold they would have to pay the city back for the investment that taxpayers made over time. And he is concerned that La Crosse taxpayer dollars are going to a facility that does not exclusively help La Crosse residents.
Supporters of the Harry J. Olson want to sit down to discuss terms. If not they have hired legal representation to take their case to trial if needed.
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