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Volume 5, Issue 20, Oct 3, 2022
 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

Advocacy Blog


Meet the Candidate Event
State Senator Brad Pfaff, Candidate for 3rd District Congress
Wednesday, October 5, 3:30-5:00 p.m., CVTC Health Education Center
   Click here for details and to register

This is an opportunity for Chamber investors to meet the Democratic candidate for 3rd District Congress to discuss his position on issues important to the business community. The Chamber does not endorse candidates for elective office, but provides education to help investors make informed decisions.

   We have also invited Republican candidate Derrick Van Orden to participate in a separate event. We are working with his campaign staff to schedule it and hope to announce the date and location soon. 


Referendum Forum: City of Eau Claire and EC School District

 • Monday, Oct 17, 10:00-11:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

   Click here for details and to register

Tax levy referendums are on the fall election ballot for both the City of Eau Claire and the Eau Claire Area School District. We've invited City Council President Terry Weld, City Manager Stephanie Hirsch, School Board President Tim Nordin, School Superintendent Mike Johnson and other key officials to provide information and answer questions about what's on the ballot, tax implications for property owners, and how the additional revenue would be used. 

Additional information:

School District Referendum website (ECASD)

City Referendum website (City of Eau Claire)


Pints & Politics: What's at stake in the November 8 election

 • Tuesday, Oct 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Chamber office, WNB Conference Room
  Click here for details and to register


More Chamber election education to come

As the election gets closer, the Chamber will be providing additional opportunities for investors to learn more about the what's on the ballot and the positions of candidates on business-related issues. (The Chamber does not endorse candidates.) 

The Chamber's Guide to the Fall Election (Eau Claire Chamber)


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Impact of Tourism

Thursday, Oct 20, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center at the Confluence

  Click here for details and to register

One of our region's post-pandemic success stories is how local tourism came roaring back, with 2021 room tax revenues exceeding the previous record year of 2019. At this edition of Eggs & Issues, we'll look at the latest numbers, what's on the horizon, and what policy issues might affect tourism's future.


Other upcoming Eggs & Issues breakfasts:

 •  Post-Election Analysis - Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin - Thursday, Nov 17

 •  Holiday Legislative Breakfast - Friday, Dec 16

In this issue: 

 • Chamber confirms Advocacy Principles, Business Issues Agenda

 • Downtown "Block 7" parking lot closed for construction

 • EC Plan Commission: Keystone Crossing assisted living, downtown apartments

 • City Council adopts Capital Improvement Plan

 • State and regional stories

 National and economic news

 • COVID-19 updates 

 • 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 "+"


Chamber confirms Advocacy Principles
and Business Issues Agenda

   Decisions made at every level of government – whether locally at city hall, school boards, the county courthouse, or in Madison or Washington – can have a profound impact on our local businesses and the economy. That's why the Board of Directors of the Chamber recently affirmed a set of Advocacy Principles and a Business Issues Agenda to guide the Chamber's advocacy work. 

  "The Eau Claire Chamber's mission - to be the 'Advocate of Business' and its motto, 'Our Community is Our Business' - both point to the importance of Advocacy as one of our core pillars," notes the opening of the Advocacy Principles narrative, which is now available on our website. "The Chamber is committed to being your eyes and ears – and, when needed, a non-partisan voice for the business community."

   The related Business Issues Agenda sets forth the Chamber's philosophy on economic policy issues, including key subjects like workforce development, housing supply and affordability, education, transportation and infrastructure, economic development and tourism, stewardship of public resources, and more. 

  The Chamber's activities to fulfill its principles include: Advocacy on business-related issues at the local, state and federal levels; Connections and relationships with policy makers; Timely information and education for Chamber investors; and Equipping investors for effective involvement and influence. The Chamber does not endorse candidates for public office, but provides election education to help investors make informed voting decisions.

More information:

Advocacy Principles (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

Business Issues Agenda (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)


Downtown "Block 7" lot now closed for construction

   As of October 3, the downtown surface parking lot on "Block 7" - the city block bounded by Barstow, Galloway, Hobart, and Wisconsin streets - will be closed and no longer by available for free parking. The City's Redevelopment Authority (RDA) has sold the land for development, including the Menominee Market Food Co-op's new building and an apartment project. The closure is related to the beginning of construction. Downtown Eau Claire, Inc. (DECI), has a downtown parking website with an interactive map showing available parking in the area. See the link below.

More information:

Downtown Parking Information (DECI)

Developers Buy Final Two North Barstow Plots (Volume One)

Co-op Buys Land from City for Downtown E.C. Grocery (Volume One)


EC Plan Commission agenda: Keystone Crossing Assisted Living, Block 7 new apartments

   The Eau Claire Plan Commission's agenda for its Monday evening meeting includes, for recommendation to the City Council, an amendment to the general development plan for Keystone Crossing to allow a Caretta Assisted Living and memory care facility, and approve the site plan, on 2.5 acres on a 9 acre parcel between Keystone Crossing and Golf Rd, behind Buffalo Wild Wings. (See pages 8-54 of the Agenda Packet linked below.)

   For approval by the Plan Commission is a site plan for the proposed mixed use residential building on the north half of downtown "Block 7," bordered by Barstow, Wisconsin, and Hobart streets. The proposed 5-story building by developer Goeff Moeding would include 111 apartment units, two levels of enclosed parking, and first floor commercial space along Barstow St. The apartments will consist of 86 one-bedroom and 25 two-bedroom units. The developer has agreed to lease 20% of the building’s apartments at prices attainable by people making 80% of less of the county median income. (See pages 38-54.)

More information:   

Eau Claire Plan Commission

 •  Monday, Oct 3, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet (54 pages)


Eau Claire City Council adopts Capital Improvement Plan

   The 2023-27 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was adopted by the Eau Claire City Council's at its Legislative Session last Tuesday. During the discussion, some Council members were disappointed that the City's participatory budgeting program will be on hiatus until 2027. The "Empower Eau Claire" program run this past year was considered successful, but the staff time involved in running the program was one of the considerations in waiting to bring it back. A motion to move it forward to 2024 failed on a 5-4 vote.

   According to the City Manager Stephanie Hirsch's summary of the CIP, it includes a total five-year cost of $219 million, $40.8 million of it in 2023. Over 32% of the 2023 proposed expenditure is for the water utility at $13.3 million.

   The Council's Business Agenda items also included two annexations: A request by Clear Water Brand, Inc., to annex 31 acres on the west side of Black Ave. near the intersection of US 53 and North Crossing, and 90 acres consisting of the City-owned Kyes Park along Deerfield Road/County II south of the City. 

More information:

Eau Claire City Council

 • Monday, Sep 26, Public Hearing Agenda Packet (40 pages)

 • Tuesday, Sep 27, Legislative Session Agenda Packet (88 pages)

    2023-27 Proposed Capital Improvement Plan (279 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)

Some Council members chagrined by CIP changes (Leader-Telegram $)

Effort to bring Empower Eau Claire back sooner fails (Leader-Telegram $)

Bleacher buy moved up in city's plan (Leader-Telegram $)

Update: Eau Claire water's PFAS levels remain within state standards (Leader-Telegram $)


Correction: Use of EC County funds for 2022 projects

   In last week's Business Advocate, we incorrectly reported that Eau Claire County's decision to use $7.3 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) and $1.0 million in general funds rather than bonding would apply to the 2023 capital budget. That funding will actually be applied to 2022 capital projects. 


Eau Claire Board of Education

 • Monday, Oct 3, 7 p.m. Agenda

Board of Education

EC school board to consider preliminary budget for 2022-2023 (Leader-Telegram $)

Criminal threats case related to EC school district dismissed (Leader-Telegram $)


More local stories:


UW Regents meet at UWEC - Wrap up with business-focused panel (Leader-Telegram $)


Olga Diaz leaves UW-EC following months of discontent (Leader-Telegram $)


Eau Claire Transit unveiling new rider app (WQOW News 18)


Proposal could expand UW-Eau Claire bus service (WEAU 13 News)


New St Louis RR bridge opens with steel from Veritas Steel of EC (Railway Age)


Startup 48 Offers Prizes for Biz Ideas (Volume One)


Legislators, Spectrum tout broadband expansion in Chippewa Valley (Leader-Telegram $)


Chippewa Valley YMCA Welcoming New CEO (Volume One)


Construction kicks off, Boys and Girls Club expanding (WQOW News 18)


Monica Lewinsky to Open UWEC’s 80th Season of The Forum (Volume One)


Pablo Center joins D Tour (Leader-Telegram $)


Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast

 • Tuesday, Oct 11, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Transportation Education Center

    Click here for details and registration

CVTC and the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce invite you to register to attend the 2022 Business Community Breakfast and explore how CVTC’s programs are driven by student success and geared up to support workforce needs.


Fall General Election

•  Tuesday, November 8, polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   Offices: US Senate, US Congress, Wisconsin Governor/Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, State Treasurer; State Senate (odd # districts), State Assembly, Eau Claire County Sheriff, Clerk of Courts

   Referendums: City of Eau Claire, Eau Claire Area School District

More information:

The Chamber's Guide to the Fall Election (Eau Claire Chamber)

MyVoteWisconsin (Register, find your polling place, what's on your ballot)

Wisconsin Legislative and Congressional District Maps (Wisconsin Legislature)


Election news:


Parties invest in competitive districts as GOP seeks veto-proof majority in Legislature (WisPolitics.com)


State Dem Party has financial edge over GOP counterpart heading into fall (WisPolitics.com)


Tony Evers, Tim Michels agree to a single debate Oct 14 ahead of the Wisconsin governor election. Here's how to watch (Journal-Sentinel +)


WBA Foundation announces dates for Oct 14 gubernatorial, Oct 7 U.S. Senate debates (Wisconsin Broadcasters Assn)


Group reports $55 million in TV ad buys in Wisconsin governor's race, making it most expensive in the country (Journal-Sentinel +)


Ron Johnson, Mandela Barnes and Wisconsin's 2022 Senate race (PBS Wisconsin)


Fox News Poll: Wisconsin Senate race shifts in Johnson’s favor (Fox News)


Mandela Barnes launching statewide tour focused on abortion policy (The Capt Times)


Pfaff taunts Van Orden for not agreeing to debate (Leader-Telegram $)


More state and regional stories:


State testing data shows improved math, English learning. But scores remain below pre-pandemic levels (WPR)


UW System takes to social media to boost financial aid applications (WPR)


Gov. Evers Announces Loan to Northside Elevator, Stanley by Wisconsin’s Freight Railroad Assistance Program (Office of the Governor)


Bureaucracy is a barrier as Wisconsin cities try to curb deadly driving on urban highways (Wisconsin Watch)


National and economic news:


Congress Heads for the Exits Until November (The Dispatch)


Small Business Concerns Over Inflation Grow Even Higher (US Chamber of Commerce)


GOP states sue Biden administration over student loan plan (AP)


U.S. Chamber Sues to Hold Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Accountable to the Rule of Law and Consumers (US Chamber of Commerce)


The case for a more robust and efficient energy industry (Kevin D Williamson, The Dispatch)


COVID-19 Updates 


COVID-19 Resources: 

COVID-19 Symptoms & Testing (EC City-County Health Department)
Local COVID-19 Testing Sites (EC City-County Health Department)
Interactive COVID Data Tracker (CDC)
COVID-19: Staying Safe in Your Community (EC City-County Health Dept.)
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Information Hub 
Eau Claire weekly COVID Situation Report 
Eau Claire County COVID-19 Vaccination Page 
Metrics Dashboard
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force


Mark your calendar:


Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast

 • Tuesday, Oct 11, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Transportation Education Center


Business Day in Madison

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

 • Wednesday, October 19, Monona Terrace


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Impact of Tourism

 • Thursday, October 20, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Pints and Politics: What's at stake in the November 8 election

• Tuesday, Oct 25, 4:00-5:00 p.m., Chamber offices


General Election

• Tuesday, November 8, Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   The Chamber's Guide to the Election


Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, November 16, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Eggs & Issues: Election Analysis with Marquette Poll's Charles Franklin

 • Thursday, November 17, Pablo Center at the Confluence


Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast

 • Friday, Dec 16, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


"Eau What A Night:" The Chamber's 108th Annual Meeting

 • Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Pablo Center


29th Annual Chippewa Valley Rally

 • Wednesday, February 22, 2023, Madison


Business Salutes Eau Claire Annual Golf Outing

• Monday, August 7, 2023


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 Governmental Affairs, at 715-858-0616 or rogers@eauclairechamber.org 

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