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City holding public input sessions on Riverside fish hatchery building

From the COLLECTION: Debating converting fish hatchery into wedding venue and more series
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Riverside Park fish hatchery building

The former U.S. Fish Control Lab at 410 E Veterans Memorial Drive, and previous home to Explore La Crosse and the La Crosse County Historical Society museum.

The city of La Crosse Parks, Recreation & Forestry Department is holding two public input sessions next month to discuss the future of the former fish hatchery building on the north end of Riverside Park.

The sessions will be from 4-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 8, and from 5-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13, at the South Side Neighborhood Center at 1300 S. Sixth St.,

The future of the building, which is currently vacant but used to house Explore La Crosse and the county’s Historical Society museum, has been up for debate in recent weeks as the city has been aiming to redevelop the site into a wedding venue.

The early plans for the proposal include turning the existing building and its garage — both of which are on several historic registers — into an event venue that would include a beer garden and an upstairs Airbnb rental.

Neighbors have pushed back on the project, worried it could increase noise and compromise the environment of the park, while officials think the project would add to the park and is a chance to restore the historic building without city money.

The La Crosse Common Council most recently approved a 60-day referral on a rezoning the project would likely need, allowing for more discussions between neighbors and project leaders.

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