Eau Claire City Council OK's food hub study and more - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Eau Claire City Council OK's food hub study and more

Eau Claire (WQOW) - Tuesday was a busy evening for the Eau Claire City Council as they approved a number of local projects. 

The council approved applying for a grant to study the possibility of having an indoor public market and food hub on the west bank of the Chippewa River. 

The grant would pay for a study that would determine if there is enough support in Eau Claire for such a project. Many city council members were excited by the prospect of planning for development in that area, but others felt an indoor market or food hub was not the best fit.  

"It's not always what we think we're going to get with this indoor food market," Monica Lewis, a council member, said. "I've seen so much bad stuff with this and I think we could pour a lot of money into this and I don't think we're going to get what we want."

Also approved Tuesday was the expansion of a liquor license for the Nucleus Cafe.  Work has already begun at 407 Water Street next to the Nucleus, where the cafe plans to expand its kitchen and seating area to allow for another 40 to 50 people. No word yet on when the expansion could be ready.  

The council also approved a temporary extension to the room tax contract with Visit Eau Claire. This extension will last until the end of June when leaders hope to negotiate a new agreement. 

As News 18 reported earlier this month, the city and Visit Eau Claire are looking to sign a new contract which would give Visit Eau Claire a greater portion of the city's room tax dollars. That's as long as they continue to fund various non-profits, such as the Chippewa Valley Museum. Visit Eau Claire would also contribute $200,000 annually to fund operation costs for the Confluence Project's community arts center.

A site study for a new bus transfer center in downtown Eau Claire also got the go ahead from council members. The $60,000 study will determine the best locations for a new transfer center, a final report on the study could be ready by January of 2016.  

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