Eau Claire City Council to take up petition at upcoming meetings

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The Confluence Project is once again in the spotlight and back in the Eau Claire City Council's ball court.

It all started on December 26th when the Confluence Referendum Committee turned in more than 4,900 signatures to the city clerk to get a spring referendum question on the ballot.

On January 10th, the city clerk certified a little less than 4,800 of those signatures enough to move the petition forward.

And now that brings us to Tuesday, January 14th.

The council is expected to begin discussing the petition at its meeting and eventually cast a vote.

City Manager Russ Van Gompel says the council could act in a few different ways.

"They could adopt the ordinance as it is, they could put it on the ballot for the electorate to decide," Van Gompel said. "And then there's a third option which is do nothing and that's up to the body to make that determination. There's really four different exceptions understand the statutes and it will be up to the body to make that decision."

By adopting the ordinance it would require the Confluence Project to go to a binding referendum if more than $1 million dollars from the city is going to the project. Failure of the binding referendum would stop the city from going forward with the project.

The city council has already pledged money toward the project.

Larry Balow, a member of the Confluence Referendum Committee, says these upcoming meetings are important because taxpayers could end up voting whether they want to be the backstop for the project.

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