Student group voices concerns over charter ordinance referendum - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Student group voices concerns over charter ordinance referendum


Eau Claire (WQOW) - A student group wants to know what impact will a new ordinance have if Eau Claire voters give it the green light?

Tuesday night, the city council voted to put a charter ordinance on the ballot in April.  The ordinance would require voters to approve city spending of more than one million dollars for any building project planned for music or artistic performance, like the Confluence Project. 

Earlier this week, a citizen went before the city council and wondered whether the ordinance would have an unintended consequence, affecting other venues that may one day, want to renovate. 

Thursday, the UW-Eau Claire student senate says it has the same concern.

"The band shell at Owen Park, music in the park at Phoenix Park, and even the public library could host musical or dramatic performances," said Student Senator Jake Wrasse. "It makes us wonder does this have to go to a referendum. If so it greatly reduces the city council's ability to make improvements."

City attorney Steve Nick said if voters approve the referendum and the ordinance takes effect, there would have to be a legal review of any building where musical or arts performances would take place.

He did say an expansion or remodeling of the band shell at Owen Park would likely fall under the new ordinance.  However, he said an expansion project at the Carson Park baseball stadium probably would not.

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