LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – As La Crosse County and city staff continue their work to address homelessness, a recently announced joint proposal is now off the table. La Crosse city and county officials planned to use the chamber of commerce building to help the homeless community. However, that proposal has fallen through.

“There was a number of groups that were interested in the building from the get-go back in June, and just hadn’t gotten ready and made an offer yet. When the city and county had said we’re interested in the building, kind of just a big interest came up, and we had to weigh our options from there.”

CEO Neal Zygarlicke says the chamber ended up accepting a different offer that was close to the 2.1 million dollar asking price.

“It was just incredibly important for us to consider what the financial impact would be.”

The city and county would have used the building as a clearinghouse for homeless services, and bridge housing was planned where the parking lot is located.

Mayor Mitch Reynolds said it was a quote, “reasonable and prudent business decision by the chamber of commerce board of directors”. Even though they went with another buyer, Zygarlicke says the chamber supports efforts to help the unhoused.

“What they’re trying to accomplish in terms of really trying to have that bridge housing, it’s an important issue for our area. We want to be there at the table and in the discussions with you, but unfortunately, it just wasn’t going to work out for here.”

That’s good news for homeless services coordinator Brian Sampson, who will take all the help he can get.

“There’s so many people that want to divest resources, or time, energy, effort, that are willing to be on the ground working hard. I think it’s really great that there are so many people across all spectrums of our community who want to be helpful.” Reynolds says city and county representatives are continuing to search for a property that can adequately serve chronically homeless individuals. A statement from mayor Reynolds says city staff is working to identify immediate safe shelter solutions for the spring. That’s when winter housing services are set to end at the Econo Lodge on Rose Street.