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Volume 6, Issue 12, Aug 7, 2023
 Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce, Eau Claire, Wis.
Published the first business day of each week
Business Advocate Past Issues
Public Meetings Calendar
Chamber Events Calendar
The Chamber's Advocacy Principles
The Chamber's Business Issues Agenda
Contact: Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs


Note: The Chamber offices will be closed on Monday, August 7, for our annual Golf Day in Eau Claire event. Regular hours resume on Tuesday.

Eggs & Issues: What's next - The impact of the UWEC’s Science & Health Sciences Building and community partnerships
   Now that the state budget has approved full funding of the long-sought UWEC Science & Health Sciences Building, learn about next steps and the opportunities this creates for the future of the university’s partnership with Mayo Clinic Health System. We'll also discuss the broader impact of UWEC's community partnerships for the public good, with updates on its WEDC Workforce Innovation Grant; the County Materials Complex; and collaborations with area businesses.
 • Friday, Aug 18, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
Click here for details and to register

Making a Difference: Your Voice in Local Government
   At this fast-paced, informative workshop, you’ll get the lowdown on how area local governments in Eau Claire County work. Learn about how city, county, and school districts are organized; how decisions get made; and how you can get involved. This event is co-sponsored with the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association and the Realtors Association of Northwest Wisconsin.
 • Thursday, Sep 14, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Chamber offices, WNB Conf Room
Click here for details and to register

Eggs & Issues: Legislative Breakfast
   With the 2023-25 state budget now enacted, but with many key state issues still pending, we've invited members of the State Assembly and Senate who represent the Chippewa Valley to join us for an update and to answer questions submitted by participants. We'll get a recap and perspective on how key regional economic priorities fared in the budget, and discuss still-pending issues like childcare, potential tax cuts, etc.  
 • Friday, Sep 29, 7:00-9:00 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

Also for your calendar:
 • Monday, Aug 14, Business After Hours
 • Tuesday, Sep 12, Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast
 • Thursday Sep 21, Bravo to Business Awards

Chamber Business Hours: Mon-Thu 7:30a-4:30p, Friday 8a-Noon
Lobby Hours: Mon-Thu 9a-3p, Friday 9a-Noon

In this issue:
 • EC City Council: Trubilt expansion, Hope Gospel school
 • UWEC announces management firm for County Materials Center
 • Keep Our Republic holds election process seminar
 • US Chamber webinar: Permitting Reform
 • Mark your calendar
Note on article links: A subscription is required for those marked with "$"
Publications known to have article limits for non-subscribers are marked with "+"


UWEC announces management firm for County Materials Center
With state funding confirmed, Science Building also moves forward
 UW-Eau Claire announced last week that CENTERS, a professional management firm that specializes in operations management for colleges, universities and other nonprofit entities, has been selected to handle the day-to-day management of the County Materials Complex.
   Now under construction for completion next year, the project includes the John and Carolyn Sonnentag Fieldhouse and the Sonnentag Event Center along Menomonie Street. It will provide sport and event spaces that will serve UW-Eau Claire intercollegiate athletes and students, the Eau Claire community and outside rental groups. The multiuse facility will be the largest indoor event venue in northwest Wisconsin. Key components include an event center with a capacity of 5,000; four sport courts; 120-yard indoor turf fieldhouse; fitness and wellness center; UW-Eau Claire athletics offices; and the Mayo Clinic Health System Diagnostic Imaging and Sports Medicine Center.
   The news comes on the heels of the recently enacted biennial state budget that finally includes full funding for the university's Science & Health Sciences Building, further highlighting UWEC's business and community partnerships. In a recent Op-Ed in the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, the leaders of the Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, and Menomonie Chambers of Commerce celebrated that win, along with the budget's inclusion of capital funding for UW-Stout's Heritage Hall renovation. 
   "The inclusion of two local UW System building projects... is great news because both projects are set to deliver benefits to our region and Wisconsin that will far exceed their cost. The public investment in each of these projects will strengthen our regional economy, address workforce shortages, accelerate productive partnerships with businesses, and even help secure the very future of the universities themselves," said the column, signed by Ashley DeMuth, Chief Executive Officer, Menomonie Area Chamber & Visitor Center; David Minor, President & CEO, Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce; and Allyson Wisniewski, President, Chippewa Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.
Impact to be highlighted at August 18 Eggs & Issues
   The Chamber's next Eggs & Issues breakfast on August 18 will focus on the value of UWEC's regional partnerships and the next steps for the Science Building. Guests include James Schmidt, Chancellor, UWEC; Dr. Tim Nelson, Regional Director of Research and Innovation, Mayo Clinic Health System; and other officials. See the link below for details. 
More information:
CENTERS to lead operations of County Materials Complex for UW-Eau Claire (UWEC)
UWEC announces management company for County Materials Complex (Leader-Telegram $)
It Seems to Me: Local UW projects will have far reaching impact (Chippewa Valley Chambers, Leader-Telegram)
Our View: New announcement makes momentum evident (Leader-Telegram editorial $)

Eggs & Issues: The impact of the UWEC’s Science & Health Sciences Building and community partnerships
 Friday, Aug 18, 7:00-8:30 a.m.
, CVTC Business Education Center
  Click here for details and to register


EC City Council: Trubilt expansion, Hope Gospel School rezonings
The Eau Claire City Council meets this week. Its Monday Public Hearing Agenda includes includes rezonings to allow Trubilt Collision Center to undertake an expansion of its facilities along Harding Avenue (see pages 25-40 of the Monday Agenda Packet linked below), and for Hope Gospel Mission to build a school building at 2712 Mercantile Drive, next to its other facilities in the area (see pages 5-24 of the Monday Agenda Packet). Both will be acted upon by the Council at Tuesday's Legislative Session.
Ad Hoc Committee on Fourth of July Celebrations
   Tuesday's Business Agenda includes a proposal by City Council President Emily Berge and City Manager Stephanie Hirsch to establish an ad hoc committee to weigh various options for how fireworks should be handled for future Fourth of July celebrations. In 2023, the fireworks were launched from the High Bridge rather than the traditional Carson Park location. The City's sponsorship agreement with Festival Foods continues through 2024. According to the proposed resolution, the purpose of the committee would be to solicit feedback from various stakeholder groups and city departments and make recommendations by the end of 2023 for the 2024 July 4th fireworks, as well as the nature of community celebrations in subsequent years (see pages 60-63 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below).
More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Aug 7, 7 p.m. Public Hearing, Agenda Packet (41 pages)
 • Tuesday, Aug 8, 4 p.m. Legislative Session, Agenda Packet (112 pages)
Link to videos of city meetings (City of Eau Claire)
City Council Online Comment Form (City of Eau Claire)
Contact information: City Council members (City of Eau Claire)

More local stories:

New downtown Eau Claire parking regulations to start sometime in August
(WEAU 13 News)

CVTC Culinary Program gets ‘exemplary’ accreditation from American Culinary Federation
(Volume One)

OneFest relocating to Chippewa Valley Music Festival grounds
(Leader-Telegram $)

Audio: City managers welcome more state revenue but envision a better system
(WPR interview: EC City Manager Stephanie Hirsch, Kaukauna Mayor Anthony Penterman, Oshkosh's City Manager Mark Rohloff; 21 mins.)

Audio Podcast: Jerry Kuehl interviews Ryan Ludy, new Executive Director United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley
(Banker with a Beer, 30 mins.)

Community surveys:

2024 Eau Claire County Budget
County 2024 budget website
Eau Claire County Seeks Budget Response From Community Via Survey (Volume One)

Public input meeting: Thursday, August 17, 6 p.m., Altoona City Hall
Online survey: 2024 EC County Budget

Eau Claire Public Library
Open houses: Stop in to see the initial results of our community

survey and share your thoughts on priorities. 
Tuesday, August 15 10-11:30 a.m. (in person)
• Thursday, August 17 6-7 p.m. (Zoom)
• Saturday, August 19 10-11:30 a.m. (in person)
Click here for information and to register

Community Health Survey
Chippewa Valley Community Health Survey (Community Health Assessment Partnership)


Bernier leads election process workshop
"Keep Our Republic" group sponsors educational panel to strengthen confidence in elections
   This past Monday at the Chippewa County Courthouse, former State Senator Kathy Bernier led a panel of local clerks, law enforcement officials, and the state elections commission administrator covering in detail how elections are managed in Wisconsin. The invited guests included various community leaders, other elected officials, and election skeptics.
   Among points emphasized by the presenters were that all votes in Wisconsin are recorded on paper ballots, that counting machines are not connected to the internet, that audit procedures and post-election official canvass activities ensure that counts match vote totals, and that vote fraud allegations are a priority of law enforcement.
   It was the first in a planned series of workshops by Keep Our Republic, for whom Bernier is the state director. The organization describes itself as "a non-partisan civic action organization dedicated to protecting a republic of laws and strengthening the checks and balances of our democratic electoral system." The organization is currently active in the battleground states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
   Bernier, who is a former Chippewa County Clerk and Chair of the State Senate Elections Committee, leads a State Advisory Council that includes such prominent names as former Gov. Tommy Thompson, former Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, former Congressman Reid Ribble, former Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch, former UW System President Kevin Reilly, former Western Technical College President Lee Rasch, political consultant and former Commerce Secretary Bill McCoshen, and other former Chippewa Valley legislators Rep. Dana Wachs and Sen. Dave Zien. 
More information:
Keep Our Republic (Website)
Seminar educates Chippewa Valley community on Wisconsin’s election process (WEAU 13 News)
Fighting election denial one community at a time (Full report on the Chippewa Falls workshop, Wisconsin Examiner)

More state and regional stories:

University of Wisconsin Oshkosh announces layoffs, furloughs to shrink $18 million deficit

Protasiewicz vows 'impartiality' as she joins Supreme Court
(The Cap Times)

Justice Janet Protasiewicz is sworn in, giving liberals control of Wisconsin Supreme Court

State courts director slams new ‘rogue’ liberal majority over firing
(The Cap Times)

Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice accuses liberals of ‘raw exercise of overreaching power’

New lawsuit seeks to overturn Wisconsin's Republican-drawn legislative maps

Progressives sue for new Wisconsin electoral maps
(The Center Square)

Wisconsin lawsuit asks new liberal-controlled Supreme Court to toss Republican-drawn maps

Kristina Boardman appointed WisDOT Deputy Secretary
(WEAU 13 News)

US Rep. Tom Tiffany won't challenge US Sen. Tammy Baldwin, leaving Republican field wide open

Wine at the brewery? A new bill could change Wisconsin's liquor laws
(The Cap Times)

Gov. Evers visits Menomonie daycare center, urges funding increase
(Leader-Telegram $)

Gov. Evers calling for more investments in child care across the state
(WEAU 13 News)

Gov. Evers visits Menomonie childcare center to advocate for 'Child Care Counts' funding
(WQOW News 18)

Gov. Evers, DNR Highlight Funding Available To Help Communities Address PFAS Contamination In Wastewater
(Office of the Governor)

Evers, DNR announce new community funding to fight PFAS
(Madison In Business)

Attorney General Josh Kaul visits Fall Creek to discuss opioid settlement dollars (WQOW News 18)

Attorney General talks NARCAN distribution for Fall Creek Police Department
(WEAU 13 News)

State officials developing implementation plan for federal broadband dollars

Costs rise nearly $90M over initial estimates for Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission line

Wisconsin officials add recommendations to new management plan to keep wolf population around 1,000

Public gets chance to weigh in on I-794 replacement or removal

Some Milwaukee leaders want to remove an interstate that runs downtown. Here's why.

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley signs 0.4% sales tax increase
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Takeaways from Mayor Cavalier Johnson, County Exec David Crowley on sales tax, Brewers stadium, gun laws
(Journal-Sentinel Politics +)

Waunakee giving up to $10,000 to some residents to fix their homes
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

SS Badger Lake Michigan Carferry ends 2023 season early after ramp damage in Ludington MI
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Haribo already approved for $8.6 million in tax credits for Pleasant Prairie factory

Wisconsin has the most golf courses on Golf Digest’s newest list of ‘America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses’

A new home half a world away: Family flees Ukraine, finds Wisconsin a great place to start new life
(Greater Milwaukee Today)

Need to talk to somebody who has gone through it? Call UpliftWI, a new peer-to-peer warmline
(Green Bay Press-Gazette +)

Marijuana is now legal in Minnesota. What does that mean for us in Wisconsin?
(Appleton Post-Crescent +)


US Chamber of Commerce Common Grounds webinar
Spotlight on Permitting Reform
   Join the U.S. Chamber’s Common Grounds webinar event spotlighting permitting reform with special guests Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) and Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA). Grab your morning cup as we dive into opportunities for consensus, legitimate policy differences, and pathways to real, bipartisan solutions on permitting reform. 
   This conversation is part of the U.S. Chamber’s Common Grounds series, where we convene one Republican leader and one Democratic leader to explore important issues facing the business community and the nation. In this episode, we zoom in on permitting reform as part of our Permit America to Build initiative. 

Reserve your spot to join this important discussion with two leaders who are working across the aisle to get things done for our country.
More information:
Common Grounds Webinar: Spotlight on Permitting Reform
 • Wednesday, August 9, 10:00-10:30 a.m. Central Time
    Click here for details and to register

National and economic stories:

US weekly Initial Jobless Claims Tick Up, Still Near Lowest This Year
(Bloomberg +)

Job openings, layoffs declined in June in a positive sign for the labor market

Banks say conditions for loans to businesses and consumers will keep getting tougher

Fitch downgrades US credit rating
(Financial Times +)

Trump indicted for efforts to overturn 2020 election and block transfer of power

Wisconsin fake elector scheme is at the center of Donald Trump indictment
(Journal-Sentinel +)

The indispensable state: Why Wisconsin could again be the electoral 'tipping point' in 2024
(Journal-Sentinel +)

White House takes 2nd swing at debt forgiveness plan after Supreme Court rejection
(Fox Business)

Vice President Harris talks American-made manufacturing, jobs, and broadband in Kenosha
(Fox 11)

VP Kamala Harris touts announcement from Nokia to bring 200 jobs to Wisconsin

The US’s new nuclear reactor is finally online

US trucking giant Yellow shutting down operations amid standoff with Teamsters union
(Fox Business)

What’s At Stake in the Farm Bill? A bastion of bipartisanship or big government run amok?
(The Dispatch)

The Flip Side: Collection of Right and Left viewpoints on national issues

COVID-19 Resources:
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub (Eau Claire City-County Health Department)

Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: The impact of the UWEC’s Science & Health Sciences Building and community partnerships
 • Friday, Aug 18

Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast
 • Tuesday, Sep 12

Making a Difference: Your Voice in Local Government
 • Thursday, Sep 14

Bravo to Business
 • Thursday, Sep 21

Eggs & Issues: Legislative Breakfast
 • Friday, Sep 29

Workforce Solutions Summit
 • Wednesday, Nov 15

Eau What A Night: The Chamber's 109th Annual Meeting
 • Wednesday, January 24, 2024

30th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally
 • Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Public Meetings Calendar
Click the link above for the our regularly updated schedule of public meetings.

Thanks for reading this issue of Business Advocate.
If you have comments or questions, contact Scott Rogers, Vice President G
overnmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org

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