Wausau ordinance prohibiting trespassing in parking ramps passes

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) -- Wausau City Council voted 'yes' to an ordinance that would allow officers to fine someone up to $50 for trespassing in a parking ramp. The ordinance was proposed by Wausau Police because of the number of homeless people sleeping in those ramps.

Photo of parking ramp in Wausau. (WSAW photo)

As we first reported last month, downtown business owners were complaining, concerned about the safety of their staff who used the ramps.

During the public comment portion of Tuesday night's meeting, most of the people spoke out against the ordinance saying homeless have no where else to go and police would be able to kick them out into the cold.

Wausau's police chief says that's not the intent of this ordinance. "This ordinance was never meant to impact positively or negatively the homelessness issue in our community. It's meant to curb behaviors that are going on in our parking ramps that are disrupting and making people fearful while they're going to and from work," Chief Ben Bliven said.

The ordinance passed 6-3.