Wednesday, January 11, 2012

HPT and DHPT - working together for great trails!

I wanted to pass along the great news that Kirk and Deke were able to bring back from last night's La Crosse City Council meeting.  A Big THANK YOU goes out to each of them for taking time to help support the La Crosse HPT group with a similar cause to ours and representing DHPT well.  Thanks Guys!

Here is an article from the La Crosse Tribune:

This Morning I asked Kirk and Deke how it went.  This is what they had to say.

From Kirk:

Very well...There were at least 100 people in the room in support of the measure to make the area an official "park."  The crowd ran the gammut (local hikers,  University student CC runners, local homeowners)  It was standing room only.

You had to fill out a short form expressing your view on the issue when you "checked in" at the door... and indicate if you were requesting to speak.

Deke and I were 2 of about a dozen speakers.

They gave everyone 3 minutes.  Deke probably used a minute... I probably used 2.

2 other speakers were local real estate developers who basically said that developing this last would not be appropriate due to the costs involved.... and the city has just spent over $1-million buying up some bluff top land to keep it from being developed...  so why would you develop this?

Another speaker was an 8-year old girl who said "she liked to play here and have fun." (She is the daughter of an old Luther grad friend of mine, Rusty Koch)

A couple of local bike guys, a shop owner and a Human-Powered Trails father/son team (They were at the Night Shift Race this fall)

The speakers were very respectful and succinct.

The group of councilmen/women voted unanimously to place this up for a vote on Thursday night when they meet next.  Several of the voting members spoke positively about supporting the measure on Thursday, and thanked the public for their huge show of support for the measure.  I am sure the measure will pass.... probably unanimously.

Afterwards, People thanked Deke and I for showing up to support the measure from "out-of-town." and a couple of the council members recognized in their comments that people had come from out of state to defend the issue.

From Deke:

Last night was a an example of a well run grass roots campaign. The
broad base of support included every one from real estate developers
to 8 year old kids. There was 100 or so people there of all ages, and
about a dozen of us spoke, myself and Kirk included.

I had heard that the councilman who  forced the issue was the bad guy
in all of this. He spoke at the conclusion of the meeting and
explained his position very clearly. The city had acquired this land
50 years ago from the state university system, with the intent of
making it into a park. After acquisition, nothing else was done to it.
It was never said what it was. A park? Industry? Housing?(Sounds like
FDR or Van Peenen!)
Then the city sold the National Weather Service land to put up the
weather radar ball that is in the tract. A precedent of selling of
fthe park was established...or was it?

The current process is clarifying the relationship of the Hixon tract
to the city of La Crosse, and after these hearings the council voted
unanimously to recommend park status. The final decision will be made
in a session closed to the public on Thursday. At this time it looks
like we will be able to ride up there for the foreseeable future.

Make sure you congratulate the La Crosse boys for a job well done.

1 comment:

Display Name said...

Thank You Very much for showing up and showing support for these trails!

- Josh