{{CFirstName}}, you are receiving this e-newsletter because you have shown interest in public policy issues. Contact us if you don't want to receive future issues.


Volume 5, Issue 12, Aug 8, 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


Vote tomorrow! August 9 Primary 

Polls open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

   In the run up to this fall's crucial mid-term election, the Tuesday, August 9, primary features important races in both the Democratic and Republican parties, including Governor, US Senate, and other statewide offices, as well as 3rd District US Congress. There are competitive local primaries for the Republican nominations for 23rd State Senate and 68th Assembly, as well as a Democratic primary for Eau Claire County Sheriff. The Chamber's Good Government Council has published candidate answers to its legislative issues survey. See the links below.

More information: 
The Chamber's Guide to the 2022 Election (Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce)

myvote.wi.gov - voter registration, what's on your ballot, find your polling place

Top candidate decision links:

Chamber Questionnaire - 23rd State Senate (Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce)

Chamber Questionnaire - 68th Assembly (Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce)

Democratic candidates debate for Eau Claire County Sheriff (WQOW News 18)

Video: 3rd Congressional District Democratic Debate (WXOW)

Video: Republican Gubernatorial Debate (WTMJ)

8 Republicans and 2 Democrats in packed race for Lt Governor (WPR)


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Imperative of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Friday, Aug 19, 7:00-8:30 a.m., Pablo Center or online via Perigon
Click here for details and to register

Registration deadline 12:00 noon on Thursday, Aug 18

   Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) has gotten increasing attention as an overall priority to ensure Eau Claire is a community that is welcoming to everyone. At this edition of Eggs & Issues, we'll take a specific look at why it is important to our economy. We've assembled a panel that will bring a wide range of private and public sector perspectives to that question, including Wes Escondo, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Wisconsin and Chair of the Chamber's Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Task Force; Valerie Fedie, Western Wisconsin & Duluth Market Leader, Wipfli; Maysee Herr, CEO, Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Lynette Livingston, Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, CVTC; and Renee Sommer, Founder, At The Roots LLC.   

In this issue: 

 • EC City Council: N Barstow apartments, state grants

 • Plan Commission approves Chick-fil-A site plan 

 • School Board finalizing referendum question

 • Altoona City Council vacancy

 • Republican Gubernatorial primary race heats up

 • Republicans pick Milwaukee for 2024 national convention

 • Strong jobs report exceeds expectations

 • US Senate passes reconciliation bill

 • 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 "+"


EC City Council agenda: N Barstow apartments development agreement, acceptance of state grants

Plan Commission approves Chick-fil-A site plan

   At its Tuesday Legislative Session this week, the Eau Claire Council will consider a purchase and development agreement with Merge Urban Development for a 5-story, 52-unit apartment building at Barstow St and Riverfront Terrace, the final lot in the North Barstow area. The 11,600 square foot site is immediately south of the Eau Claire Children's Museum currently under construction, and will abut the North Barstow Parking Ramp, where tenants will have access to parking. Merge will guarantee a minimum property tax valuation of $8 million, and will receive $800,000 in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) assistance. (See pages 37-70 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below for more information, including the site location and renderings.) Merge is the same developer that is completing the Andante building on the north side of the Eau Claire River between Barstow and Farwell Streets, which is opening to occupancy later this summer. 

   Also being considered in Tuesday's Business Agenda are actions related to acceptance of a $1 million state grant for W Capital Group's Phase II of The Current apartment building at 1700 N. Oxford Ave. 36 of the 43 units in the apartment building will have rents that are affordable to individuals who earn 30% to 60% of the county median income. The project earlier had received $483,430 in competitive Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), but significant increases in construction costs led to the City of Eau Claire awarding the project $192,700 from its Affordable Housing Fund and the $1 million state Neighborhood Investment Grant. (See pages 71-130 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet.)

   The City also is receiving a $1.5 million Neighborhood Investment Grant to support the expansion and renovation of Catholic Charities' Sojourner House at 618 S. Barstow St. (See pages 131-173 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet.)

   The Council will act on a recommendation from the Plan Commission to approve a final plat for Timber Bluff III by Wurzer Builders at Old Town Hall Rd west of Graff Rd for 56 twin home lots and three outlots, and its 52 unit Senior Bluff Condos (see pages 228-264).

   The Council will also consider a proposal to apply for a gap loan of $2 million from the State Trust Fund for the library renovation project while awaiting pledged donations to come in (see pages 182-185). 

   There is no Public Hearing for the Council on Monday evening because none of the agenda items require one.

Chick-fil-A site plan

   The Eau Claire Plan Commission last Monday approved the site plan for a Chick-fil-A restaurant near Oakwood Mall at 3849 S Oakwood Mall Drive, next to Olive Garden (see pages 54-92 of the Plan Commission Agenda Packet linked below). The 5,000 square foot restaurant would include a double drive through, seating for 88, and 72 parking spaces. (The Plan Commission draft minutes are included in the City Council Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below, pages 269-270.)

More information:

Eau Clare Plan Commission  

 • Monday, Aug 1, Agenda Packet (122 pages)

Eau Claire City Council

 • Monday, Aug 8, Public Hearing - Canceled

 • Tuesday, Aug 9, 4 p.m. Legislative Session (Agenda Packet, 270 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 seeks loan to cover gap before library donations arrive (Leader-Telegram $)

Developers Buy Final Two North Barstow Plots (Volume One)

Planned low-income apartments in Eau Claire get funding boost (Leader-Telegram $)

Plan Commission approves Chick-fil-A site plan (WEAU 13 News)

Eau Claire Plan Commission approves Chick-fil-A site plan (WQOW News 18)

CHICK-IT-OUT: Chick-fil-A Wants to Build E.C. Eatery (Volume One)

Eau Claire plans more solar investments (Leader-Telegram $)


EC School Board finalizing referendum question

 The Eau Claire Board of Education is nearing a decision on a referendum for the fall election. At its meeting last Monday, board members discussed a possible $92 million referendum that would raise the property tax $108 per $200,000 in assessed valuation, primarily for a series of school improvement projects. The Board's Referendum Committee is scheduled to meet Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. to work on details for the referendum, which needs to be finalized by Aug 31.

More information: 

Eau Claire Board of Education

 • Monday, Aug 1, Agenda Packet 

School Board information (ECASD)

School Board members (ECASD)

School board aimed to formulate referendum question; logistics still up in the air (Leader-Telegram $)


Altoona seeks applicants for City Council vacancy

Application deadline Aug 17

   Altoona City Council member Tim Sexton is moving out of the City and has resigned his seat. Sexton represents District 5 (Wards 9 and 10). His current term ends in April 2023.

   The City of Altoona is seeking applicants for the seat and will appoint an individual to serve out the rest of the term. The deadline to apply is 2 p.m. on  August 17. Applicants are asked to send an application letter and resume to the Altoona City Clerk, 1303 Lynn Ave., Altoona, WI 54720.

More information:

City of Altoona Ward and Council District Map (City of Altoona)

Altoona City Clerk website (City of Altoona)

Altoona seeks new council member (Leader-Telegram $)


More local stories:


Chippewa Falls Council approves $1.277M referendum proposal (Leader-Telegram $)


Longtime EC attorney Wickstrom elevated to judicial position (Leader-Telegram $)

Beverly Wickstrom sworn in as new Eau Claire Co. Circuit Court Branch 6 Judge (WQOW News 18)


Feed My People Food Bank names new executive director (Leader-Telegram $)

Announcing New Executive Director (Feed My People Food Bank)


Eau Claire County Community Engagement Budget Survey 
   Eau Claire County is offering a survey to seek your opinion on the importance of services provided by the County. The County seeks to understand what services you consider essential, desired, optional, or unnecessary. The survey also provides  an opportunity to provide comments and give suggestions for improvement. The survey is linked below and should only take 5-10 minutes of your time. The information you provide in this survey will assist the County and County  Board Supervisors in the 2023 budget process. The survey will be open until September 30th.

Click here to take the Eau Claire County Budget Survey


2022 Election:


Partisan Primary - Tuesday, August 9

What's on the ballot: US Senate (Ron Johnson seat), Congress, State Senate (odd # districts), Assembly, Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, County Sheriff, County Clerk of Court

General Election - Tuesday, November 8


Election 2022: The Chamber's Guide to the State and Federal Elections (Eau Claire Chamber)

MyVoteWI (to find your polling place and see what's on your ballot)


Local and legislative offices: 

Democratic candidates debate for Eau Claire County Sheriff (WQOW News 18)

Two EC Sheriff's Office veterans vie for Democratic nomination (Leader-Telegram $)

Marcon, Hakes square off for GOP nomination for Chippewa Co Sheriff (Leader-Telegram $)

Three vie to follow Bernier in 23rd (Leader-Telegram $)

Candidates in the 23rd SD GOP primary disagree on abortion and decertification issues (WisPolitics.com)

Three Republicans face off for 68th Assembly nomination (Leader-Telegram $)


3rd District Congress:

Video: Democratic candidates for 3rd Congressional District debate (WXOW; 59:00)

In western Wisconsin congressional debate, Democrats seek to appeal to voters across the political spectrum (WPR)

With one last campaign corn roast, US Rep. Ron Kind thanks supporters for his 2 decades in Congress (WPR)


Wisconsin statewide offices:

Video: 2022 Wisconsin governor Republican primary debate (WTMJ; 58:26)

Candidate Q&A: Governor Republican Primary (Wisconsin State Journal +)

Video: WMC Town Hall with leading GOP Lt. Gov candidates (WMC, 48:10)

Video: WMC Town Hall interviews with GOP Atty Gen candidates (WMC, 1:01:10)


Wisconsin 2022: Kleefisch With Slight Edge Over Michels In Tight Race for GOP Nomination (Emerson College Poll)

Pence praises Kleefisch as ‘proven conservative’ during Pewaukee event (WisPolitics.com)

Trump ally takes on Walker protégé in Wis. governor’s race (AP)

Trump praises Michels, knocks Vos in pre-primary campaign stop (WisPolitics.com)

‘He’s the real deal’: Trump stumps for Tim Michels at Wisconsin rally (The Cap Times)


Everyone Wants to Be Lt. Governor: 10 candidates in all, including just two Democrats. Who stands out? (Urban Milwaukee)


'It happened very quickly': The inside story of how the Wisconsin Senate primary broke for Mandela Barnes (Journal-Sentinel +)

You voted early, and then your candidate dropped out. Now what? (The Cap Times)


Other election stories:


Trump backs Robin Vos' primary opponent (AP)

Former governors Thompson and Walker defend Vos after Trump endorses opponent (The Center Square)


Gableman floated decertification but the backed off (AP)


Voters have requested 368K absentee ballots for Tuesday’s primary, continuing downward trend (WisPolitics.com)


City of Eau Claire prepares for above-average primary turnout (Leader-Telegram $)


National Democrats accused of meddling in GOP primaries (News Nation)


Video: Political Viewpoints Heading into the Primary – Discussion with Dave Cieslewicz and Dan O'Donnell (Newsmakers, WisconsinEye)


It’s official: Milwaukee will host the 2024 Republican National Convention (BizTimes Milwaukee)


National and economic stories:


Payrolls increased 528,000 in July, much better than expected in a sign of strength for jobs market (CNBC)


Fed will ‘absolutely’ raise interest rates in September with focus to lower inflation: SF Fed pres Mary Daly (Fox Business)


VP Harris breaks tie as Senate narrowly passes Democrats’ economic package, sends it to House (PBS)

Senate Passes Democrats’ Climate, Healthcare and Tax Bill (Wall Street Journal $)

Senate passes sweeping climate, health and tax package, putting Democrats on cusp of historic win (CNBC)

U.S. Chamber Key Vote Letter opposing the Inflation Reduction Act (US Chamber of Commerce)


Utilities set to spend more than $2B on new transmission lines in Wisconsin (WPR)


Driveway Danger: Kids Being Injured and Killed in ‘Frontover' SUV Blind Zone Incidents (NBC Washington)


COVID-19 Updates 

COVID-19 cases in region rise, but deaths drop to lowest level (Leader-Telegram $)


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:


Eggs & Issues: The Economic Imperative of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

• Friday, Aug 19, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


Bravo to Business Awards

• Wednesday, Sep 14, The Florian Gardens


Eggs & Issues: Fall Election Outlook with Bill McCoshen

• Thursday, Sep 22, Pablo Center or live stream on Perigon


Business Day in Madison

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce

 • Wednesday, October 19, Monona Terrace


Workforce Solutions Summit

 • Wednesday, November 16, Pablo Center


"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


Next up on the public calendar


Wisconsin Political Calendar (WisPolitics.com)


• Partisan Primary - Tuesday, August 9

US Senate (Ron Johnson seat), Congress, State Senate (odd # districts) Assembly, Governor, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Secretary of State, County Sherriff, County Clerk of Court


General Election - Tuesday, November 8


Congressional & Legislative Maps

Wisconsin Congressional Maps (Dave's Redistricting)

Wisconsin Legislative District Maps (Wisconsin Legislature)


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 

This email was sent on behalf of {{TCDisplayName}} located at {{TCADDRAddress1}}{{TCADDRAddress2}}{{TCADDRCity}}{{TCADDRStateProvince}} {{TCADDRPostalCode}}To unsubscribe click here. If you have questions or comments concerning this email contact {{TCDisplayName}} at {{TCEmailAddress}}.