City council approves new TID, fire station site plan

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Plans are approved to begin work on what will be Eau Claire’s newest fire station.

The Eau Claire City Council met Tuesday. Among the items it approved were a site plan for a new fire station and the creation of tax incremental district in the Water St. area

The Eau Claire City Council unanimously approved a site plan for a new fire station number 10 to be built on Malden Ave., between Birch St. and Seymour Rd.

The council members also approved more than $500,000 in initial funding to begin site work and the laying of concrete and asphalt. The new station will replace the existing fire station number 10 at the intersection of Birch St. and Hastings Way.

"Time is of the essence at this point, which is why we separated the site work piece from the actual construction of the building,” Jay Winzenz, finance director for the City of Eau Claire, said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday. “We want to try to get footings and foundations in the ground before the snow flies, before frost is in the ground and try to get most of the concrete work done as well, so not we're not incurring winter construction costs for the concrete."

The city will now begin accepting bids for construction of the actual building and hope to present bids at the next city council meeting in two weeks.

Also Tuesday, in a 7-3 vote, the Eau Claire City Council approved the creation of tax incremental district – or TID, for short – in the Water St. area between 2nd Ave. and 8th Ave.

This will include rebuilding the riverfront trail along the Chippewa River, and the expansion of the parking lot on Chippewa St. between 4th Ave. and 5th Ave.

The move also clears the way for the possible acquisition of riverfront land along Menomonie St., where the historic Adin Randall home currently sits.

City council president Kerry Kincaid says, despite opposition, the time was right to declare the area a tax incremental district.

"With a TID, what it gives you the ability is to direct the increment into projects that we have deemed are worthy, and that's why it's important to do it right now," she said to WEAU 13 News on Tuesday.

Kincaid said the first item to be worked on under the new tax incremental district won't get started until 2019.

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