Assessment fees being issued for downtown reconstruction project - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Assessment fees being issued for downtown reconstruction project

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - When you talk about downtown Eau Claire these days, one street always seems to come up, and Tuesday night, the city council made a decision about it.  There's been a lot of action along South Barstow lately. The proposed confluence project impacts a number of buildings.  The street is also being rebuilt, which has affected a number of businesses.

Tuesday night, the city council voted to move forward with special assessment fees for South Barstow. This year, the city will tear up the road and repave.  It's unknown yet how each business will owe.  The city says this is a typical procedure for construction projects.  The fees will help pay for things like lighting, sidewalks, landscaping and curbs.

"We can't picture the streetscape yet because there's so many loose ends. It should be good if we get our street designed properly and it should be an upgrade for our downtown," says Dan Goelzer, Purple Petunia and Calico Shoppe owner.

As reconstruction moves forward, some questions are being raised about changes that were already made.  Barstow and Graham recently went two-way.  Last week, we reported about the concerns some business owners have about loading zones blocking traffic.

"We need to take a look at that now that it's been in place for about four or five months and look at what can we do different so that if we do that, make some changes, when we do the reconstruction this summer we can incorporate those changes into the signage and the pavement markings and so on when we reconstruct the street," says Brian Amundson, the city's public works director.

The city will be holding another public session on the Barstow Street reconstruction next Wednesday night at seven o'clock at the RCU building.

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