MADISON (WKOW) -- The Madison Common Council approved a resolution that allows the city to set up a new location for the current encampment at Reindahl Park.
The resolution declares that an emergency is present, based on the ongoing concern over COVID-19, the lack of adequate accommodations for the homeless and the unsafe conditions at the Reindahl Park encampment.
With the emergency declaration, the city can begin to prepare a new site at 3202 Dairy Drive on the city's southeast side.
The resolution says about 30 people would be able to stay at the new site when it is ready. Since that would not cover the entire population of the Reindahl Park encampment, city officials said they are working to establish a second site, but did not specify where that might be.
The resolution mentions the growth of the encampment has contributed to increasing levels of tension among campers and people who use the park. The Capital East Soccer Club holds practices and games at Reindahl Park. Coach Terry Maloney says they haven't had any incidents with the campers, but he feels like he always has to keep one eye on what's happening in the encampment.
"These people should be helped," Maloney told 27 News. "I'm in agreement with that they should be helped. But I don't think being in a park is the way to do it. I mean, it's not beneficial to either them, or the people that live in this community to try to use the park. You know, their community is afraid to come here. You know, so it's, it's a lose-lose for both groups."
Maloney says he wants to see the encampment removed, but he would like to see the city help the campers find permanent housing.