Schipske Says Public Needs Opportunity To Speak on Schroeder Hall Reuse
2009-04-22 · By Editor
Concerned that the public be given an opportunity to address the full City Council to rescind its vote to approve an application to reuse Schroeder Army Reserve Hall at Willow and Grand for a police substation and to accommodate the homeless with a site on the City’s Public Health Department campus at Burnett and Grand, Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske has agendized the item for a public vote on Tuesday, May 5th.
“I don’t think the closed session on this issue scheduled for Tuesday, April 21 will provide sufficient opportunity for the public to give input on the issue of whether or not the City Council should rescind its vote approving Schroeder Hall for a police substation and accommodating a program for the mentally ill homeless on the City Public Health Department’s campus,” says Schipske who represents the 5th District which includes the sites for both a police substation and a day treatment program for the homeless with mental illness.
“I have put the issue of calling for the council to rescind its vote on the public agenda for May 5th so public discussion can take place and a public vote taken on my motion to rescind.”
Schipske explains that she has asked several times to have the site of the homeless program moved to alternate location but to date none has been satisfactory to the homeless services provider Mental Health America. Under federal law, MHA must agree to the location for its program in order for the City to obtain the surplus military program for use as a police substation.
“I thought when I voted to approve the city reuse of Schroeder Army Hall for a much needed police station that locating the MHA program within the City’s Public Health Department campus in an industrial area that has a 10 foot fence buffering it from residential areas would be much better than placing it on Willow Street, which is what was originally proposed,” says Schipske. “However, some residents of the adjacent area do not want this type of program and so I want to give these residents an opportunity to tell the full council why this is not satisfactory. I am asking that my colleagues join me in taking action to prevent this from going forward.”
Schipske previously had asked that the City request a waiver from the federal government of the requirement to accommodate the homeless in light of the numerous programs the city runs for this segment of the population.
“I was advised by the City Attorney that the only way that could be done is to rescind the application, which is what I am try to do.”