First up on the agenda was an amendment to tax incremental finance district number eight. The district would help fund the city's contribution to the Confluence Project funding.
The City Council approved that amendment on an eight to three vote.
The creation of a TIF allows the city to pay for incentives for developers; those expenses are then reimbursed through the new property tax increment revenue created by the development.
“I think we need to move ahead as far as we can,” said Council Member Dave Duax. “We are going to be looking at TIF projects in which dollar amounts are being inserted for planning purposes only, the appropriations come later.”
This would be the third amendment to TIF eight, one more amendment could be made at a later date.
“I don't believe that you need to continually add to every single person that wants some money or may need some help downtown,” said Council Member Monica Lewis. “I just wanted to put that aside tonight and that my objection to this has nothing to do with a project."
The council also approved appointing a recuperative to the board of directors of the newly formed Eau Claire Confluence Incorporated.
That non-profit group would own and operate the community arts center.
It is also the agency that is applying for a $25-million grant from the state for the arts project.
"I think it's really important that a public body says 'yes we are interested in joining this 501c3 organization. Yes let's put it in writing and yes let's make a commitment, and yes we want a voice at the table,'" said Council Member Catherine Emmanuelle.
The grant application is due on Friday. It will then go to Governor Walker for inclusion in his budget proposal. He has already spoken publicly in support of the project.
In a busy night the council also voted to create a task force that would look at ways to preserve homes in the city's historic Randall Park neighborhood.
Some residents have voiced concern about the growing number of rental units, occupied mainly by university students. At Tuesday's meeting Eau Claire's Police Chief said law enforcement officers, businesses and residents need to come together to address alcohol abuse and absentee landlord issues in the neighborhood.
The council also agreed to move ahead with plans to create a "quiet zone" at Delbert Road. It is one of several intersections the city will consider modifying to reduce train crossing noise.