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Volume 6, Issue 22, Oct 16, 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
"Talking Po!nt" Podcast
Contact: Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs


Last chance to register...
Eggs & Issues: Keeping Talent Local
   One of the most important workforce-related opportunities is ensuring that young people who grow up in the Chippewa Valley get connected with local career options, as well as finding ways to retain students who come here for college. At this edition of Eggs & Issues, learn what's being done to introduce K-12 students to local opportunities through efforts like employer tours, Junior Achievement, Youth Apprenticeship, CVTC dual credit and academies, and more. Plus, we'll look at how UW-Eau Claire and CVTC are increasing the number of their higher education students who choose to stay in the region, and what employers are doing to engage talent through internships, apprenticeships, and other strategies.
   We'll hear from Courtney Olsom, the Chamber's Workforce Initiatives Director; Billy Felz, UWEC Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management; Lynette Livingston, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Chippewa Valley Technical College; Elisia Gonsowski, Human Resource Generalist at Riverside Machine and Engineering; Rachel Downs, Financial Education Supervisor at Royal Credit Union; and Julie Thoney, Community Service and Economic Development Manager at Xcel Energy.

Friday, Oct 20, 7:00-8:30 a.m., CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

Menomonie Eggs & Issues

Bridging the Gap Between Education & Workforce
Presented by the Menomonie Area Chamber & Visitor Center, UW-Stout, and the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce
Thursday, Nov 2, 7:30-9:00  a.m., UW Stout Memorial Student Union
    Click here for details and to register

Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Poll
 • Friday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m. CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

Chamber Business Hours:
Mon-Thu 7:30a-5p, Friday 8a-2p
Lobby Hours: Mon-Thu 9a-3p, Friday 9a-Noon

In this issue:
 • Gatlin resigns from County Board, applicants sought for District 14
 • Budget work underway in local governments
 • High Bridge wins state, national preservation award
 • UWEC names new College of Business dean
 • State Senate leaders propose childcare changes, tax cut; Assembly to vote on Brewers deal
 • National and economic news
 • Food for thought
 • 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 "+"


New episode...
"Talking Po!nt" podcast
It's Government Budget Season
   In this episode, Creative Director Chelsea Seckora introduces the Chamber's President & CEO, Dave Minor, and Scott Rogers, VP Governmental Affairs, who talk about budget season for local government, focusing on the City of Eau Claire. What it's about, the timeline, and why it's important to you. "Talking Po!nt" was created to discuss community and state topics that have a significant impact on businesses and our economy. Recorded in the WIN Technology Studio. Media sponsor Royal Credit Union. Click below to listen:
Talking Point Podcast Ep 2, "It's Budget Season" (17:37)
Talking Point Podcast Ep 1 "Why we advocate" (16:18)
Related commentary:
Our View: Pay attention during government budgeting (Leader-Telegram Editorial $)

Eau Claire County...
Gatlin resigns for Eau Claire County Board
Applicants sought to fill unfinished term
   Eau Claire County Supervisor Judy Gatlin has resigned from her position representing District 14 on the Eau Claire County Board. The County is now seeking applicants to fill the unexpired term that ends in April 2024.

   Gatlin has served on the County Board after first being elected in 2016. District 14 includes Wards four, 21, 56 & 63 in southwest edge of the City of Eau Claire and Ward three in the Town of Washington.
   Applications are open through Friday, October 27. Applicants must be a resident of the district. Interviews will take place with the Committee on Administration in early November, followed by a decision by the County Board. 
More information:
County Board District Maps - click on District 14 (Eau Claire County)

Application (Eau Claire County)
More information:
Applications for district 14 supervisor open as Gatlin resigns (Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire County is seeking applications to fill a vacancy in Supervisory District 14 (WEAU 13 News)

County Budget work underway
Hearing Tuesday evening - See agenda packet and budget website links below
More information:
Eau Claire County Board
• Tuesday, Oct 17, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet
County Board district maps and Supervisors
County Budget website (Eau Claire County)

City of Eau Claire...
EC City Council gets first look at 2024 proposed budget
   The Eau Claire City Council held its first Public Discussion on its 2024 Proposed Operating Budget at last Monday's City Council meeting, followed by a Council Work Session on Tuesday as the City moves towards its adoption. The budget projects $90.9 million in general fund revenues and expenses for 2024, with details behind the proposed budget outlined in the 155-page "2024 Proposed Operating Budget" document linked below.
  The City Council is scheduled to hold another Work Session on October 24, receive proposed amendments from Council Members by November 3, then hold a final Public Hearing on November 13 for action by the City Council on November 14.
Orchard Hills extensions approved, Metro gets liquor license
   The Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to proceed with proposed street, utility, and trail improvements on S. Lowes Creek Road to service newly annexed property owned by Todd Haugen (see pages 5-11 of the Monday Agenda Packet linked below). The city annexed
438 acres from the town in March 2023 for the proposed Orchard Hills housing development. 
   The Council voted 7-4 to accept an application from The Metro for a liquor license that would be surrendered by Wichcraft (see pages 59-86 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below).
More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Oct 9, Public Hearing, Agenda Packet (37 pages)
 • Tuesday, Oct 10, Legislative Session, Agenda Packet (122 pages)
    2024 Proposed Operating Budget (City of Eau Claire, 155 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)
City Council responds to citizen concerns about South Lowes Creek Road construction (Leader-Telegram $)

City budget sees boost from additional revenue (Leader-Telegram $)
Library plans for security monitor after incidents with unhoused patrons (Leader-Telegram $)

Eau Claire Plan Commission
Agenda includes a rezoning and general development plan with Wurzer Builders for multi-family apartments at 4808 E. Hamilton.
 • Monday, Oct 16, 7 p.m. Agenda Packet (31 pages)
    2023 Work Plan 

High Bridge wins state, national preservation awards
   Eau Claire's historic High Bridge has been named the winner of a state historic preservation award from the Wisconsin Historical Society and a national Public Works Project of the Year Award from the American Public Works Association (APWA).
   The state award was presented to the City of Eau Claire in a ceremony in Eau Claire this past Friday. Both awards recognized the work done in 2021-22 after a pier failed on the 1881 structure.
   "The sustained effort of the citizens of Eau Claire advocating for the preservation of the High Bridge and the response from City Planning Staff and City Council in recognizing the historic significance of this resource is deserving of this award," noted the State Historical Society in announcing the award. "The project is an integral part of a broad effort to revitalize downtown Eau Claire. For at least the next 30-50 years, the High Bridge will continue to be a vital part of the City's bike and pedestrian trail system. This is an exemplary example of historic preservation and collaboration of ordinary citizens, historic preservation professionals, municipal staff, and elected officials."
   The APWA award recognized the City of Eau Claire, Ayres Associates, and Kraemer North America. The APWA award highlighted the engineering and design work and the team’s efforts to maintain sustainability, including considerations to protect a fish spawning area directly downstream, as well as measures that left the riverbed in the same condition after construction as it was before.
More information:
Repair of the Historic High Bridge (City of Eau Claire)

2023 Historic Preservation Award Winner Announced (Wisconsin Historical Society)
E.C. Bridge Restoration Wins State Historical Award (Volume One)
Eau Claire receives Historic Preservation Award for High Bridge project (Leader-Telegram $)
High Bridge receives highest project award in Wisconsin (WQOW News 18)
APWA Announces the 2023 Public Works Projects of the Year: High Bridge Rehabilitation Project (American Public Works Association)
Ayres Wins National APWA Award for Project That Saved Historic Bridge (Ayres Associates)
Our View: A well-deserved bit of recognition (Leader-Telegram Editorial $)

Housing supply and affordability...

Regional Housing Conference set for Nov 1 in Eau Claire
Organized by the Eau Claire Housing Opportunities Commission
   The City of Eau Claire Housing Opportunities Commission has opened registration for its second annual Regional Housing Conference on Wednesday, November 1. The Conference will include an update on the regional economy and its impact on housing; funding of low-income and workforce housing, including an update on recently-passed state legislation, regional zoning updates, and more.

More information:
Regional Housing Conference
 • Wednesday, Nov 1, 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m., UWEC Davies Center
Click here for information and registration

Zoning for Neighborhoods Workshop Nov 7
   The City of Eau Claire Planning Division is hosting a community workshop on November 7th in collaboration with UW-Stevens Point Center for Land Use Education. The two-hour program includes an interactive exercise on potential land use changes involving representatives of neighborhoods and other community stakeholders. Learn how zoning reforms could impact the city.
More information:
Zoning for Neighborhoods Workshop
Tuesday, Nov 7, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Banbury Place, Eau Claire Room
   800 Wisconsin St., Building 2, 3rd Floor, lunch provided
   Click here for information and registration

More zoning and housing links:
City of Altoona seeking input on new zoning code project (WQOW News 18)

City of Eau Claire planning first massive zoning overhaul since 1990 (WQOW News 18)
Altoona Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Competition (City of Altoona)
Century Code Update website (City of Eau Claire)
WHEDA Housing Programs website - new legislation implementation (WHEDA)

Higher education...
UWEC names new Dean of the College of Business
   Dr. Lisa Jepsen, who has 23 years of experience as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been named the new dean of the College of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
   Jepsen, who was associate dean in UNI’s College of Business from August 2015 through July 2020, will join UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 1, 2024. She is presently the Robert James Waller professor of economics and an administrative fellow in the university’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
   Jepsen will replace Dr. Brewer Doran, who is retiring on March 1, 2024.
More information:
Dr. Lisa Jepsen named dean of UW-Eau Claire’s College of Business (UWEC)

UWEC announces new dean to take over College of Business in early spring (Leader-Telegram $)

More area higher education links...
Rothman unveils new Universities of Wisconsin identity to represent 13 universities (UWEC)

UW System to become Universities of Wisconsin in new brand identity (Leader-Telegram $)
CVTC, PMI host open house for new education facilities (CVTC)
CVTC training center at PMI hosts ribbon cutting ceremony (Leader-Telegram $)
UW-Stout celebrates newly remodeled South Hall (WEAU 13 News)
UWRF science and technology building is largest construction project in university history (Leader-Telegram $)

UWRF and WinField United partnership recognized with UW System award (Leader-Telegram $)

Meeting this week...

Eau Claire Board of Education
 • Monday, Oct 16, 7 p.m. Board information and agenda

More local stories:

New Menomonie Market Food Co-op Fulfills Downtown E.C.’s Grocery Dream
(Volume One)

Menomonie Market Food Co-op expanded location opens (WEAU 13 News)

Two Chippewa Valley finalists in Hmong Wisconsin Chamber’s 2023 Business Awards
(Volume One)

Hope Gospel Mission breaks ground on new learning center
(Leader-Telegram $)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin Announces New CEO
(Volume One)

Eau Claire City and county agencies work to help out the homeless population
(WEAU 13 News)

Pablo Center, LE Phillips, Children's Museum to celebrate Wisconsin Science Festival Oct 16-22
(Leader-Telegram $)

La Crosse County awards grants to child care providers
(WEAU 13 News)

DATCAP: Efforts to preserve Elk Creek Lake have paid off
(Leader-Telegram $)

CF Sheriff Hakes says he is ready to move forward, unite county
(Leader-Telegram $)


State and regional news...

Top 4 Finalists Announced in Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin Contest - final voting ends at noon on Oct 19

Nominate a company for Manufacturer of the Year - Due Oct 20

UW expert warns of AI cyber threats, urges skepticism about defenses

Assembly to vote Tuesday on modified Brewers stadium deal
(Wisconsin Examiner)
Evers, Johnson back new Brewers stadium bill unveiled by Republicans (BizTimes)

Wisconsin Republicans propose sweeping changes to Evers’ child care proposal
Senate Republicans call for increased child care tax credit along with tax cut Tony Evers vetoed (Wisconsin State Journal +)
Senate leader LeMahieu proposes to scrap Evers $1B child care plan, replacing it with $2B tax cut and expanded child care credit (Journal-Sentinel $)

Federal grant will assist UW-Eau Claire student parents with child care costs

Few Republicans have confidence in elections. It’s a long road for one group trying to change that

Vos says SCOTUS will have last word in voting maps fight. Experts say that's far from certain.

Speaker Robin Vos says Wisconsin Supreme Court justice 'should have recused herself' from redistricting cases (WKOW)
2nd former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice advises Republican leader against impeachment (AP)

Wisconsin school districts learn how much state funding they'll receive this year

What lawmakers are planning for Wisconsin schools and what might actually pass
(Journal-Sentinel +)

School choice lawsuit asks Supreme Court to find Wisconsin's program unconstitutional
(Wisconsin State Journal +)

Wisconsin committee sets up Republican-authored PFAS bill for Senate vote
‘Game-changer’: EPA issues final reporting rule on ‘forever’ chemicals (Safety + Health)

New bill would allow new cigar bars to open, launching fears over indoor smoking
(Journal-Sentinel +)

Who gets to build Wisconsin’s energy future? Lawmakers to decide
(The Cap Times)

After failing last year, bill limiting competition for transmission lines returns to the state Legislature (WPR)

Hospital costs should be more transparent, Wisconsin legislators say
(The Cap Times)

Wisconsin Supreme Court sides with tenant advocates in limiting eviction records
Liberals on Wisconsin Supreme Court side with tenant advocates seeking to scrub some eviction records (WPR)
Wisconsin eviction records to be taken down after 2 years, court rules (The Cap Times)

After questions about use of state funds, budget for Wisconsin Fast Forward workforce development program cut by 16%
(Journal-Sentinel +)

School Enrollment Numbers Raise Question of Missing Students
(Wisconsin Policy Forum)

Report: Wisconsin Public Schools have lost 32,000 students since 2019 (WPR)

Milwaukee Common Council votes to expand city oversight of housing authority
(Journal-Sentinel +)

The Hop gives media a lift on new Milwaukee L-Line streetcar

Fiserv data shows boost in downtown spending from Milwaukee Night Market

MKE 2024 Host Committee chair praises bipartisan cooperation, touts economic impact

'It’s not dirty, it’s not dangerous': Appleton area students learn about manufacturing careers
(26 Northeast Wisconsin)

Elected officials call on Biden to repair Superior-Duluth Blatnik Bridge
(The Daily Reporter +)

On Indigenous Peoples Day, Wisconsinites reflect on their relationship with the holiday

St. Paul poised to allow triplexes almost anywhere in the city; debate less heated than in Minneapolis

Redistricting debate...
Redistricting activists speak out against GOP plan to redraw Wisconsin's political maps (WPR)
OUR VIEW: Don't blow it. Wisconsin has its best shot at fair maps in a generation (Editorial, Wisconsin State Journal +)
Illinois Democrats drew new maps. The changes pushed the GOP to the right. (Washington Post +)


National and economic stories:

Consumer prices rose 0.4% in September, more than expected

Here’s the inflation breakdown for September 2023 — in one chart (CNBC)

Jordan faces uphill climb to win speaker vote ahead of critical week

‘Game on’: Jordan racing to secure votes as speaker vote looms (Politico)
In latest contentious fight for speaker, Rep. Tom Tiffany backs Ohio's Jim Jordan (WPR)

How third-party and independent candidates could threaten Democrats and Republicans in 2024

Video: 'UPFRONT' recap - Reps. Gallagher, Krishnamoorthi bring China committee to Wisconsin
(Up Front, WISN)

Israel Is Preparing for ‘Significant’ Gaza Ground Operation
(Bloomberg +)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin joins calls for Biden to freeze $6 billion in Iranian assets following Hamas attack on Israel (Journal-Sentinel $)
Biden officials' Israel briefing rankles House Republicans (Axios)
Rep. Van Orden unapologetic for 'belligerent' outburst during White House briefing on Israel (WISN)

Food for thought...

What really are “special interests” in Washington - and how they influence Congress
(Bradford Fitch, Congressional Management Foundation, Fulcrum)

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

Mark your calendar:

Eggs & Issues: Keeping Talent Local
 • Friday, Oct 20

Menomonie Eggs & Issues: Bridging the Gap between Education & Workforce
 • Thursday, Nov 2

Economic Outlook Luncheon
 • Tuesday, Nov 14

Workforce Solutions Summit
 • Wednesday, Nov 15

Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Poll
 • Friday, Nov 17

Eggs & Issues: Holiday Legislative Breakfast
 • Friday, Dec 15

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

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

Chamber Royale

 • Thursday, May 16, 2024

Golf Day in Eau Claire
 • Monday, Aug 5, 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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