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Conditional use permit for donated home for veterans remains uncertain

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Conditional use permit for donated home for veterans remains uncertain

Conditional use permit for donated home for veterans remains uncertain

A local family who decided to donate their home to the Tomah Veterans Affairs medical center has received a lot of pushback in the past few months.

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Conditional use permit for donated home for veterans remains uncertain

A local family who decided to donate their home to the tomah v-a has received a lot of pushback in the past few months.

The home would be used for the v-a's transitional housing program for veterans.

The la crosse common council referred the decision in october to grant a conditional use permit for the home.

News 8's jordan fremstad now joins us what the future holds moving forward.

Barb and dave erickson wanted to donate their home on farnam street to help struggling veterans get back on their feet.

But neighbors expressed concerns about the safety of having individuals with troubled pasts in the neighborhood.

Following the 60-day referral ...last night's city planning commission is asking the council to delay the process another 30 days.

It's creating an uncertain future...to a deed the erickson's say ...had all of the right intentions.

Military service means the world to la crosse residents dave and barb erickson.

"my son-in-law just returned from a tour in africa.

My father, my father in law and two of my brothers served in the military."

They decided to donate their home on farnam street to help struggling veterans transition back into the community.

"i see this as a very small way of helping out."

The handicap accessible home was built for their son chad who suffered brain damage from a surgical error.

"i see this home as perfect for someone to grow and be nurtured ...and that is what it was built for."

After their son passed away they wanted to pay it forward to our nations heroes...but neighbors grew concerned over the safety of the program.

"change is very scary and change is hard, especially when it's something so different."

60 days after the la crosse common council delayed a conditional use permit the city planning commission held it's own meeting to hear every argument....for... .

"these are not criminals.

These are bright young men and who standup and volunteer to serve."

"wars are ugly.

They scare you for life.

Some of them physical and others you carry the spirit of that war with you forever and some need help."

"the fact is i just didn't know how to put a bottle down and what they gave me is the tools to do it."

And against...the idea.

"as a parent and as a neighbor who loves my neighbors i feel like that is a really big concern."

"i am truly down here today for my property rights which we all must follow and are in place for a reason."

"you don't have anything to lose.

You don't have a dime to lose.

The people in that area do."

The ericksons say they have been asked why they don't just sell the house...and donate the money.

"that doesn't give those men a home.

It's not that it's going to just give a home to 8 men, it's going to give a home to hundreds of men and women hopefully over the years.

You can't put a price tag on that."

They hope people will understand the hardships veterans have witnessed... and that this will help them overcome their past.

"they are humans and they made mistakes.

But that's not to say that none of us are not going to make mistakes the rest of our lives and need a helping hand as well."

All of the concerned neighbors at last nights meeting say they are not against the program... they are against the way it has been explained.

Tomah v-a officials say the home will house eight veterans... instead of the 10 previously mentioned.

The judiciary and administration committee also met tonight to answer further questions... leading up to next week's city council meeting... where a decision will be made.

We will continue to follow this story as it progresses.

Thanks jordan, tomah v-a officials say they are also guaranteeing no veterans with a violent history or criminal record of sexual crimes would live in the home... and there would be 24-7 staff on the site.




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