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Volume 6, Issue 21, Oct 9, 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...
Local Candidate Training Workshop
   If you've ever considered running for a local elected office, want to help a friend or colleague with a campaign, or just wondered what's involved, make plans now to attend this workshop. You'll learn which offices will be on the ballot in the Spring 2024 election and the basic details of filing and running for office. You'll also have a chance to hear what it's really like to run and to serve from a panel of current and former city council, school board, and county board members. This event is co-sponsored with the Chippewa Valley Home Builders Association, the REALTORS® Association of Northwestern Wisconsin, and Young Professionals of the Chippewa Valley.
 • Wednesday, Oct 11, 8:30-11:30 a.m., REALTORS® Assn of NW Wisconsin
Click here for details and 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 ed students who choose to stay in the region, and what employers are doing to engage talent through internships, apprenticeships, and other strategies.
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:
 • Altoona to begin Zoning Code rewrite
 • EC City Council gets first look at 2024 budget
 • Volunteers, employer tours needed for middle school career days
 • New Marquette Poll
 • Kevin McCarthy out as US House Speaker
 • 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 "+"


Housing supply and affordability...
Altoona begins Zoning and Development Code update
Community open house on Wednesday
   The City of Altoona this week begins a process to update its Zoning and Development Code to bring it in line with the Comprehensive Plan the City approved in 2022. City officials are holding a Community Open House on Wednesday evening, 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Fish House.
   "The Comprehensive Plan engaged residents and stakeholders to define priorities for future development in the City and was developed with strong emphasis on Climate Action, Social Equity, and Economic Vitality. The Comprehensive Plan proposed strategies including infill development on key sites in corridors, ensuring predictable, high-quality neighborhood and site design, and
promoting compact development with a mix of land uses," says the flyer advertising the open house. It notes that the Zoning and Development Code "regulates how land can be used and developed, to reflect the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan and Regional Housing Study."
   The City of Eau Claire also has a Zoning Code Update underway, anticipated for completion by the end of 2024. Both cities are using the same consultant, Houseal Lavigne of Chicago. 

More information:
Community Open House: Altoona Zoning & Development Code Update
 • Wednesday, Oct 11, 6-8 p.m., Fish House, 418 9th St W, Altoona
    Click here for more information
Eau Claire Zoning Code Update information:
Century Code Update website (City of Eau Claire)

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

City of Altoona, AARP announce ADU design competition
   The City of Altoona has partnered with the American Association
of Retired Persons (AARP) to host an Accessory Dwelling Unit design
competition. The City is interested in submissions from architecture and design students and professionals interested in making a difference in America's housing crunch. Competitors will compete for cash prizes of $5,000 for first place, $3,000 for second place, and $1,500 for third place to present their best Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) designs. 
More information:
Altoona Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Competition (City of Altoona)

WHEDA launches Housing Legislation implementation website
   The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has established a webpage to provide updates and application information for the four affordable housing programs enacted by the legislature and signed by the Governor this year. The bi-partisan package included a total of $525 million in funding for programs to be administered by WHEDA, including: $50 million to support housing rehabilitation grants or loans, $275 million for Residential Housing Infrastructure loans, $100 million for Main Street Housing Rehabilitation loans, and $100 million for Commercial-to-Housing Conversion loans.
   The website includes includes the most recent FAQs and loan term sheets for each program. You can also sign up to receive email updates as new information becomes available.
More information:
Housing Legislative Package webpage (WHEDA)

City of Eau Claire...
EC City Council gets first look at 2024 proposed budget
   The Eau Claire City Council will host its first Public Discussion on its 2024 Proposed Operating Budget at Monday evening's Public Hearing Session. 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.
   Following Monday's Public Discussion, the City Council will hold work sessions on October 10 and 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.
   Monday's agenda also includes a Public Hearing on 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), and discussion on accepting an $18,951 grant from the US Department of Justice (see pages 13-36).
   Tuesday's Legislative Session includes action on the grant acceptance and public improvements from Monday's agenda. The Tuesday Business Agenda also includes acceptance of a $40,000 grant to the police department from the Eau Claire Community Foundation for its involvement in the EC County Child Abduction Response Team (see pages 31-34 of the Tuesday Agenda Packet linked below), an application from The Metro for a liquor license that would be surrendered by Wichcraft (see pages 59-86), and approval of appointments to various boards, commissions, and committees, including five members to the Fireworks Committee in addition Council Members Charlie Johnson and Andrew Werthmann (see page 88).  
More information:
Eau Claire City Council
 • Monday, Oct 9, 4 p.m. Public Hearing, Agenda Packet (37 pages)
 • Tuesday, Oct 10, 7 p.m. 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)
Byrne grant up for council discussion (Leader-Telegram $)

City's PFAS suit moved to federal court (Leader-Telegram $)
PFAS lawsuit filed by the City of Eau Claire moved to federal court (WEAU 13 News)
Eau Claire lawsuit over PFAS contamination moved to federal court (WQOW News 18)
Our View: Pay attention during government budgeting (Leader-Telegram Editorial $)

Volunteers sought: Employer tours, Junior Achievement events
Career days for middle school students
The Chamber and Junior Achievement are teaming up to continue their joint efforts to introduce local middle school students to career opportunities in the Chippewa Valley. To help make that happen, they're seeking employers who are open to providing group tours for students, and volunteers for "JA in a Day" classroom events at area middle schools. Upcoming dates include:

 Northstar Middle School: Nov 13 Classroom Site, Nov 14 Employer Tours
 • Altoona Middle School: Feb 15, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
 DeLong Middle School: Feb 21, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
 South Middle School: Mar 6, 2024, Classroom Site & Employer Tours
More information: 
Click here to for information and to sign up, or contact the Chamber's Workforce Initiatives Director, Courtney Olsom, at 715-858-0617 or olsom@eauclairechamber.org

More local stories:

UW-Eau Claire, New Jersey college partner to study how to grow industry collaborations

Partnership between UWEC, TCNJ arises to study industry collaborations (Leader-Telegram $)

New cybersecurity lab at CVTC to help local businesses
(WEAU 13 News)

New agency to help refugees settle opening soon in Eau Claire
(WQOW News 18)

Rep. Van Orden visits CVTC Law Enforcement Academy graduation
(WQOW News 18)

Van Orden addresses CVTC law enforcement graduation ceremony (Leader-Telegram $)
Rep. Derrick Van Orden spoke to CVTC law enforcement graduates (WEAU 13 News)

School Board analyzes preliminary budget, student development during meeting
(Leader-Telegram $)
ECASD President Nordin, Johnson comment on WI School Board Week (Leader-Telegram $)

Government pay-for-performance plan included in recommended EC County budget
(Leader-Telegram $)

14 sheriff jail division jobs to be repurposed by county resolutions (Leader-Telegram $)
County electric vehicle chargers will be available soon (Leader-Telegram $)
Grant will fund three sheriff’s office initiatives to assist during opioid crisis (Leader-Telegram $)

Xcel Energy plans new $500M transmission line in western Wisconsin

Xcel proposing $500M transmission expansion project in western Wisconsin (WQOW News 18)

Ribbon cutting for Eau Claire Event District
(WEAU 13 News)

E.C. Sculpture Tour ‘People's Choice’ Voting Opens
(Volume One)

Visit Eau Claire seeks artists’ submissions, sponsors for 2024 Eau Claire Sculpture Tour (WEAU 13 News)

Eau Claire Marathon Receives Gold Racecheck Award
(Volume One)

JONAH celebrates 16 years serving the Chippewa Valley (WQOW News 18)

Festival Foods in Chippewa Falls officially opens
(WEAU 13 News)

CF Festival Foods holds grand opening for store, food court (Leader-Telegram $)
New Chippewa Falls Festival Foods opens at Chippewa Crossing (WQOW News 18)

Supervisors will discuss Chippewa County Sheriff Hakes at Oct. 10 meeting
(Leader-Telegram $)

Report: Hakes accused of inappropriate messages to female dispatcher, missed training (Leader-Telegram $)
Timeline of events in report on Chippewa County Sheriff Travis Hakes (WQOW News 18)
County supervisor: Investigation into Hakes' conduct is not politically motivated (Leader-Telegram $)

Chamber Advocacy podcast: Talking Po!nt
   Take a few moments now to listen to the Chamber's newest podcast, "Talking Point," created to discuss community and state topics that have a significant impact on businesses and our economy. Episode 1, "Why we advocate," features Chamber President & CEO Dave Minor and Vice President Governmental Affairs Scott Rogers, interviewed by Creative Director Chelsea Seckora. Recorded in the WIN Technology Studio. Media sponsor Royal Credit Union.
Click to listen: Talking Point Podcast, "Why we advocate" (16:18)


Marquette Law School Poll...

New Marquette Law School national survey finds hypothetical Biden-Trump rematch remains close with candidates splitting registered, likely voter samples (Marquette Law School Poll)
A new national Marquette poll shows the complexities of gauging a Biden-Trump rematch (Journal-Sentinel +)
Eggs & Issues: Charles Franklin, Marquette Poll
   Dig into the latest polls results, explore what polling says about the current mood of Wisconsin public opinion, and what that tells us about the future of key policy issues and next year's elections.  

 Friday, Nov 17, 7:00-8:30 a.m. CVTC Business Education Center
    Click here for details and to register

October is Manufacturing Month...
"Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin" - round 8 voting ends 5 p.m. on Oct 10 (WMC)
Wisconsin celebrates October as Manufacturing Month
Nominate a company for Manufacturer of the Year - Due Oct 20 (WMC)

More state and regional news...

Protasiewicz rebuffs recusal demands as liberal high court fast-tracks key remap issues (WisPolitics.com)
Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court justice rejects GOP call to recuse on redistricting cases (AP)
Pair of Wisconsin Supreme Court developments set the stage for a political power struggle (Journal-Sentinel +)

Impeachments and forced removals from office emerge as partisan weapons in the states

Governor Evers visits Eau Claire to continue push for childcare funding
(WEAU 13 News)
Evers renews push for child care funding in EC visit (Leader-Telegram $)

Impeach Wisconsin's top election official, Republican Senate President tells Robin Vos
(Wisconsin State Journal +)
Assembly Speaker Vos says he won't start impeachment of top elections official amid lawsuit (WPR)

Wisconsin hearing considers $614M plan to fund Milwaukee Brewers stadium repairs
Some officials, residents still worried about local contribution to Milwaukee Brewers stadium deal (WPR)
Poll: Majority of Wisconsin voters want Brewers’ ballpark solution (The Center Square)

State’s shared revenue deal more lifeline than bonanza for smaller municipalities

Report: Thousands of Wisconsin students unaccounted for
(The Cap Times)

A man seeking Wisconsin’s governor illegally brought guns to the state Capitol — twice in one day (AP)
Tony Evers, Robin Vos agree security changes unlikely at Capitol (The Cap Times)
Arrest at Wisconsin Capitol building the latest threat targeting elected officials (WTMJ)

UW System faculty fear for the future of Wisconsin higher ed
(The Cap Times)

Wisconsin manufacturers less pessimistic about the economy this year, but still face stresses

Seven Wisconsinites make Forbes annual list of 400 richest Americans, including John Menard

Milwaukee finishes 3rd in Conde Nast Traveler's best big cities list
(On Milwaukee)

Dane County airport announces more non-stop flight destinations

Joe Parisi to retire as Dane County executive after 13 years
(The Cap Times)

Superior Council awards $300K grant for homeless shelter
(Superior Telegram

Menomonie Chamber Podcast

Update on Passenger Rail for West Central Wisconsin
What's happening with potential passenger rail service to Menomonie, Eau Claire, and other West Central Wisconsin communities? In the latest "Chamber Chatter" podcast, Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Ashley DeMuth interviewed two members of the Chippewa-St. Croix Rail Commission, Menomonie City Council Member Gretchen Yonko and Eau Claire Chamber VP Governmental Affairs Scott Rogers.
Click below to listen:
Audio: Chamber Chatter (Menomonie Area Chamber of Commerce, 36:58)


National and economic stories:

Israel vows complete siege of Gaza as it strikes the Palestinian territory after incursion by Hamas

Iran Helped Plot Attack on Israel Over Several Weeks (Wall Street Journal $)

U.S. economy adds staggering 336,000 jobs in September
Payrolls soared by 336,000 in September, defying expectations for a hiring slowdown (CNBC)

As mortgage rates hit 7.5%, applications fall to lowest since 1995 (Axios)

UAW holds off on widening Big 3 strike citing ‘significant progress’ in talks

UAW workers reject Mack Trucks contract offer and vote to go on strike (Axios)

House ousts Kevin McCarthy as speaker in historic vote

Wisconsin Republicans vote against removing former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (WPR)
Scalise, Jordan Emphasize Republican Unity in Speaker’s Race (The Dispatch)
What Wisconsin's members of Congress said about the removal of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Journal-Sentinel +)
U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald throws support to Jim Jordan as next House speaker, becoming first Wisconsin House member to endorse (Journal-Sentinel +)
'They hadn't thought about it at all': Grothman says McCarthy ousted by personal conflict, not party priorities (WPR)

State Rep. Katrina Shankland joins Dem Primary race to unseat GOP Rep. Derrick Van Orden

For the Record: Field of Democrats hoping to unseat Van Orden grows (News 8000)

Biden stuns allies with border wall bombshell
(The Hill)

Shutdown Delayed: What Comes Next for State and Local Budgets? (Governing)

30 years ago, the Kremlin crushed a parliamentary uprising, leading to strong presidential rule

What is Indigenous Peoples Day? A day of celebration, protest and reclaiming history

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

Mark your calendar:

Local Candidate Training Workshop
• Wednesday, Oct 11

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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