EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – The Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously to move the Confluence Project downtown forward to the UW-System Board of Regents.
Council members voted for a resolution supporting the project 10-0 on Tuesday evening. It’s a recommendation for the regents to take up the project in their capital budget.
The $90,000,000 project would bring a new arts center, retail complex, and student housing development to Eau Claire, at the confluence of the Eau Claire and Chippewa Rivers.
Eau Claire, Wis. (WEAU) -- It is a project that would be a big change for downtown Eau Claire. The downtown Confluence Project would bring new stores, student housing, and an arts center to the city.
But in with the new, means gone with the old.
"We're just here to look out for the history of Eau Claire and the buildings that are associated with it," said Janice Wnukowski, with the Eau Claire Historic Preservation Foundation.
She came out to speak against the project; saying tearing down is not the only way to rebuild.
"We're not entirely opposed to improving downtown it's just we are trying to look out for the preservation of our history as well," she added.
Those thoughts come one day before council is set to vote on moving forward with recommending the plan to the University of Wisconsin System to take up in their budget. The next step after tonight's discussion.
"The Board of Regents will hear a presentation at their meeting on October 4th or 5th in Menomonie," said Mike Rindo, Asst. Chancellor for Facilities at UW-Eau Claire.
Mike Rindo says The University of Wisconsin's share of the project would be $55 million and if council’s vote tomorrow passes, it will show support.
"And so the city council is one of those considering a resolution to support advanced enumeration of the confluence project for the 2013-2015 budget recommendation," he said.