Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - The developer of the proposed confluence project reacted Wednesday to last night's decision by the Eau Claire County Board of Supervisors. County residents will now get to decide if they want to pledge $3.5 million towards the $80 million downtown project.
Developers had asked for $5 million from the county. But at last night's meeting, the county board settled on a smaller figure. They also said they wanted voters to be part of this decision. The board overwhelmingly approved asking voters in a county-wide spring referendum if they approve pledging $3.5 million toward the project.
Last fall, the city pledged $5 million. Next week, the city council could also vote to put a referendum on the ballot.
"The two referendum issue might be complex, and that's a challenge and from our perspective that's unfortunate. The fact that there is a referendum and that we we're going to have to provide a fair amount of community education is a responsibility that we accept. We just hope it's fairly simple and fairly straightforward in the administration of the referendum," said Dan Clumpner of Commonweal Development.
The city referendum would be different from what the county is doing. It would not specifically name the confluence project. The city referendum would require voter approval for more than $1 million in capital funding from the city for any arts project. Next Tuesday, the city council plans to vote on whether to put that on the spring ballot.