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Sex-offender housing causes friction between Winnebago County, City of Oshkosh

Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-05 18:47:50-05

OSHKOSH — Oshkosh Common Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to build a new housing facility for sex offenders on supervised release. The facility—located off County Highway Y near the intersection of Jackson St.—has already been approved by Winnebago County, but was previously put on hold by Oshkosh Common Council.

According to Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz, the proposed facility's location just up the road from the sheriff's office and not near to any schools or churches made it the only option for the county to build on.

“We have done everything in looking at viable facilities and there’s just nothing that meets the criteria of being outside that 1,500-foot rule of churches, parks schools, and all the other things we have to look at," he said.

Oshkosh Common Council Member Lynnsey Erickson said the council was skeptical about the chosen site at the previous meeting and decided to delay the vote to allow time to get more information on the plan. She says she's satisfied with the county's assessment and plans to support the measure on Tuesday.

“We have to find a solution to this, we can’t just throw people away," she said, "the responsibility to find housing falls to the county, the county has identified this location within the city of Oshkosh…I understand this is complicated, but it’s what we’re faced with.”

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