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Volume 6, Issue 13, Aug 14, 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


Last chance to register...
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.
   Guests include James Schmidt, Chancellor, UWEC; Dr. Richard Helmers, Regional Vice President, Mayo Clinic Health System – Northwest Wisconsin; Dr. Tim Nelson, Regional Director of Research and Innovation, Mayo Clinic Health System; Mike Carney, Assistant Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships and Program Development, UWEC; and Carmen Manning, Dean, College of Education and Human Sciences, UWEC.
 • Friday, Aug 18, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
Click here for details and to register

Chamber & CVTC Business Community Breakfast
   Honoring our past & celebrating our future. Join us first at CVTC's Business Education Center to engage in insightful discussions and hear from President Sunem Beaton Garcia as she shares an update from the college. Explore how CVTC’s programs prioritize student success. Then tour the Health Education Center and discover how CVTC's health programs are evolving and growing to match the needs of our community and the workforce.

 • Tuesday, Sep 12, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register (Registration deadline Sept. 7)

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
 • 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 creates 4th of July study committee
 • Mt Washington on Plan Commission agenda
 • Evers calls special session on childcare, workforce
 • National and economic stories
 • 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 "+"


EC City Council forms July 4th committee
The Eau Claire City Council voted last week to establish a seven-member ad hoc committee to weigh various options for how fireworks should be handled for future Fourth of July celebrations, as well as the nature of those celebrations beyond 2024. 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 (see pages 60-63 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below). The committee will include Council Members Charlie Johnson and Andrew Werthmann, along with representatives from Visit Eau Claire, one to represent neighborhood associations, a veterans representative, a member appointed by the Board of Health, and one additional member from the public.
   The Council also approved 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). In the case of the Trubilt rezoning, the Council voted not to rezone one portion of the proposed property, but the change does not have a material effect on the company's expansion plan. The Council also voted to amend the public decency code to remove homosexuality as prohibited conduct (see pages 65-66 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below).
More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Aug 7, Public Hearing, Agenda Packet (41 pages)
 • Tuesday, Aug 8, 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)
Hope Gospel Mission is looking to expands its property to better help their residents (WEAU 13 News)

City council votes approve firework committee; strikes 'homosexuality' from prohibited conduct rule (WQOW News 18)
City establishes committee to study fireworks (Leader-Telegram $)

Mt. Washington project on Plan Commission agenda
   A request to amend the City's Comprehensive Plan for a new project involving the former Mt. Washington Residence in on the Eau Claire Plan Commission agenda for its Monday night meeting. The change would move its land use designation from residential to mixed use.
   Altitude Capital Partners, the new owner of the nine-acre property at 1930 Cleveland St., is planning a three phase project. The first phase would include a new 4-story, 22,900 square foot building on the west side of the property with 87 units totaling 122 bedrooms. The second phase would be a remodel of the existing 18,745 square foot building for 53 units totaling 60 bedrooms, plus 5,000 square feet of commercial space. Phase three would include a new 15,825 square foot building with 60 units totaling 86 bedrooms. The application includes a letter of support from the Shawtown Neighborhood Association. (See pages 9-38 of the Agenda Packet linked below.)
More information:
Eau Claire Plan Commission
 • Monday, Aug 14, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet
(110 pages)
Site plan shows new vision for Mt. Washington building (WQOW News 18)

Also meeting this week...

Eau Claire County Board
 • Tuesday, Aug 15, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet
County Board district maps and Supervisors

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

Foxconn space at Haymarket Landing now for lease or sale
   An email notice and promotional flyer last week from Commonweal Development signaled that the long-empty space owned by Foxconn in Haymarket Landing is now actively for sale or lease.
   "Premier riverfront space in downtown Eau Claire! Up to 15,000 SF of retail space for lease located at Haymarket Landing in downtown Eau Claire," reads the promotional material. "Space offers unparalleled location at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers, adjacent to Haymarket Plaza and the Pablo Center. Contact us today to learn how you can take advantage of this one of a kind opportunity in downtown Eau Claire."
   The space was purchased by Foxconn in 2018 for an Innovation Center that never materialized. There were no subsidies involved in the Eau Claire deal.
   “It’s a little frustrating. it’s a prime spot, and we’d love to see it get used,” City of Eau Claire Economic Development Manager Aaron White told Volume One in 2020. 
More information:
Haymarket Landing commercial lease/sale flyer (Commonweal Development)

October 2020 article: Two Years Later, Foxconn’s Property in Eau Claire Still Empty (Volume One)

Walmart open call for products open through August 18
   Walmart has announced an "open call" for U.S.-made products to be considered for sale in Walmart stores and online. It is encouraging companies interested to register now through Friday, August 18. 
More information:
Walmart open call more info and FAQs

More local stories:

What the Heck is ‘Block Face Parking’? Here’s What You Need to Know
(Volume One)

School districts deal with teacher shortage
(WEAU 13 News)

EAU Flights to Las Vegas begin Friday Aug 11
(Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire flights to Las Vegas are about to take off (WQOW News 18)
Chippewa Valley Airport flight information (CV Regional Airport)

Community members tour historic houses in the Third Ward
(WEAU 13 News)

TemptAsians Officially Opens Second Location, This Time in Eau Claire
(Volume One)

Chainsaw championships rev up in Eau Claire
(Leader-Telegram $)

E.C. Community Foundation Receives Largest Legacy Gift Ever
(Volume One)

Reilly stresses importance of recruiting to UWEC baseball program
(Leader-Telegram $)

Camp Manitou celebrates a century
(Leader-Telegram $)

Groundbreaking ceremony held for new CF hotel
(Leader-Telegram $)

'We're digging in for a while': Leinenkugel's strike enters second month
(WQOW News 18)

Associated Bank to close six branches, including one in Menomonie

Farms face uncertain futures over questions of succession
(WEAU 13 News)

United Way of the Greater Chippewa Valley Announces New Executive Director
(Volume One)

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

Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation Annual Meeting
 • Thursday, Aug 25, 7:15-9:15 a.m., Eau Claire Event District
   Click here for details and registration 

Community surveys and input:

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
This is a three-county partnership with healthcare, United Way, and local health departments used to develop the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which provides direct guidance on the priorities of Eau Claire Health Alliance.  The survey helps action teams develop strategies to address prioritized issues, taking input and guidance from our community members.
Chippewa Valley Community Health Survey (Community Health Assessment Partnership)


Evers calls legislative special session for Sep 20
Wants to use $1 billion of remaining surplus for childcare, family leave, higher education, and workforce programs
   Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers last week issued an executive order calling a special session of the state legislature for Wednesday, September 20, "to complete their work on the 2023-25 biennial budget and pass a meaningful, comprehensive plan to address the state’s longstanding, generational workforce challenges."

   Evers says he wants the legislature to pass funding "to prevent a looming collapse of the state’s child care industry and ensure child care is affordable and accessible for working parents and families, expand paid family leave, invest in higher education to help educate, train, retain, and recruit talented workers, and support targeted solutions to workforce challenges in high-need areas, specifically the state’s healthcare and education workforce sectors."
   Assembly Speaker Robin Voss called the proposal “nothing more than a rehash of Tony Evers’ tax and spend budget." He said that “Governor Evers’ proposal to give childcare providers a one-time payment of $365 million is another 12-month patch to match what they just lost through the federal stimulus plan. It is unsustainable and does nothing to address the long-term problem faced by the childcare industry.”
   For their part, Republican lawmakers say they are working on proposals related to childcare that they expect to have ready for consideration in September.
   In past calls by Evers for special sessions on other topics, Republicans who control the legislature have gaveled in and then adjourned such sessions. Some observers have suggested that the six weeks between Evers' call and the session date provide time to undertake negotiations, which could include consideration of new tax cuts after Evers vetoed most of those included in the state budget by Republicans. During the budget deliberations, direct negotiations between Evers and legislative leaders resulted in the shared revenue reform that was ultimately signed into law.
More information:
Gov. Evers Calls Legislature into Special Session to Address State’s Chronic Workforce Challenges (Office of the Governor)

Evers issues special session call — says it's different this time (The Wisconsin Examiner)
Wisconsin Republicans dismiss governor’s call to increase funding for child care, UW System (AP)
Evers stops in EC to talk child care funding, special session (Leader-Telegram $)
Governor Evers calls for special session on childcare (WEAU 13 News)

Governor Evers talks special session during Eau Claire visit (WQOW News 18)

Petryk, Evers deliver radio addresses on workforce
   Both the Republican and Democratic radio addresses last week focused on workforce issues, with local Rep. Warren Petryk (R-93) and Democratic Governor Tony Evers talking about solutions to the workforce shortage. Petryk is Chair of the Assembly Workforce Development Committee.
More information:
   Petryk: "While the Wisconsin Legislature continues to pass innovative legislation over the last five years to advance our state's response to the workforce crisis. It continues to be met by a governor that would rather expand government and weaken Wisconsin's commitment to helping people find a meaningful career." Listen: Republican Radio Address (1:36)
   Evers:  "The challenges that have plagued our state for generations will continue holding our economy, our families and our state back if Republicans in the Legislature don't take seriously the second chance I'm giving them, and urgently." Listen: Democratic Radio Address (1:59)

More state and regional stories:

Evers vetoes GOP proposals on unemployment and gas engines but signs bills on crime (AP)

Gov. Evers Takes Action on 17 Bills (Office of the Governor)
Wisconsin Democrats on ‘veto watch’ after Tony Evers blocks 10 bills (Wisconsin Watch)

Culver's backs state Senate push to add regulations to food delivery apps

Vos says final numbers on Brewers stadium package still not settled

Will Milwaukee Brewers look to relocate if state stadium financing package fails?
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Lawsuit targets Wisconsin legislative districts resembling Swiss cheese

Republicans launch defense of Wisconsin's legislative maps and ballot drop-box ban
(Journal-Sentinel $)

Gov. Evers Announces State Building Commission Approves Approximately $341.8 Million in Projects Across Wisconsin
(Office of the Governor)

Wisconsin Elections Commission deactivates over 100,000 voters as part of regular maintenance
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Here’s who lobbied Wisconsin legislators the most during a budget season with a historic surplus
(The Badger Project)

District attorneys, legislators, Evers discuss positives of new parole transparency law
(Leader-Telegram $)

Impacts of updating commercial building code debated in legislative committee

With an eye toward the future, Fort McCoy builds new housing facilities, restores WWII barracks

MMAC report shows job gains balanced by declines in housing, real estate activity

He's been a Milwaukee ambassador for years. Now, he serves the unhoused with a 'heart of gold.' (Journal-Sentinel +)

PSC Wisconsin: New 353 area code to begin service for southwest, southcentral Wisconsin customers in September 2023 (WisPolitics.com)


National and economic stories:

The invisible laws that led to America’s housing crisis
(CNN Business)

July CPI report shows inflation gauge rose 3.2%, less than expected

Wholesale prices rose 0.3% in July, higher than expected

US inflation has steadily cooled. Getting it down to the Fed’s target rate will be the toughest mile

Video: Why the U.S. Needs to Reform Its Permitting System
(US Chamber of Commerce, Common Grounds series)

Permit America to Build (US Chamber of Commerce, reform initiative information)

Who’s in, who might be out: Eight candidates have qualified for the first Republican debate

The GOP Debate in Milwaukee Approaches
(The Dispatch)

Biden headed to Milwaukee a week before Republican presidential debate

Wisconsin judge allows civil case against fake Trump electors to proceed

40-year-old Stevens Point college student will be first Republican to challenge Tammy Baldwin for Senate in 2024
(Journal-Sentinel $)

Sen. Baldwin visits Cornell, discusses rural broadband
(Leader-Telegram $)

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Tours Fort McCoy to discuss nearly $100M investment for new barracks

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

Food for thought:

Minnesota's future: Our biggest asset is people. Immigration reform is the timely way to build it.
(Bill Blazar, Star-Tribune +)

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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