NEW INFORMATION: City releases wording of referendum question

Statement on referendum from City of Eau Claire:

This charter ordinance would create a new policy for legislative approval of expenditures of one million dollars or more on certain capital or building projects by shifting final approval from the Eau Claire City Council to the electorate through a binding referendum.  The charter ordinance would require that prior to the start of any physical construction of any municipally financed (in whole or in part) project which includes a building planned for dramatic, musical, or artistic performances, requiring a capital expenditure by the City, or by any entity created by the City, of one million dollars or more, the City Council shall submit to the electorate a binding referendum for approval of the project.  Failure of the binding referendum shall preclude the City or City entity from proceeding with the project.  The wording of any referendum shall provide the specific purpose, location and cost of the project and an estimate of operating costs which will be provided by the City or a City entity.  However the charter ordinance would not prohibit the city from exercising its role in the planning and design of such publicly financed projects.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- We now know the wording of a referendum question voters will see on the April ballot that could impact the Confluence Project.

On Friday morning, the City of Eau Claire posted the question online. It will read: "Shall a charter ordinance be enacted that would require a binding referendum before $1,000,000 or more in city funds can be expended on any building construction that is planned for dramatic, musical, or artistic performances?” In December, the Citizens Referendum Committee filed a petition to get a referendum on the April ballot. On Tuesday, the Eau Claire City Council approved letting voters decide on whether that requirement of going to referendum on all building projects meeting the criteria in the question should take effect.

On Tuesday, City Council Vice President Dave Duax told WEAU 13 News that a special election would likely need to be held in June or July specifically for the Confluence Project if voters approve the April referendum. He added that it could cost more than $20,000.

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