City council takes up debate on park name, intersection design

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis., (WEAU) -- The Eau Claire County boardroom was packed with community members ready to voice their support, and opposition to the naming of an area near downtown Eau Claire.

It was an emotional night of public comment from those who support and those who oppose the naming of a park in downtown Eau Claire.

The area is currently known as the "Forest Street Special Area" and the proposed name “Veteran’s Tribute Park" is the cause of some controversy throughout the community.

It was an emotional night of public comment from those who support the name and those who oppose it.
Dozens of community members voiced their concerns, mainly regarding the actual naming process of the park. The issue, according to those who spoke, has caused a major rift for citizens. The line for public comment stretched outside the boardroom.

According to Angela Deutschlander, vice president of the Veteran’s Tribute Foundation, the rift comes from misconception and miscommunication.

"One major misconception is about the naming of the Forest Street Special Area. It has been said we should not have the right to name the entire space as it contains gardens that have been there for many years," she said. "We agree. And we are not trying to name the entire space. We have made it clear in our plans and presentations that we are only using part of the land."

Deutschlander also says the Veterans Tribute Foundation wants to work together with the community to create a space where everyone in the community can come together.

The other item on tonight's city council agenda was a proposed re-design of an intersection near UW-Eau Claire.
The main concerns include the ability to make a left turn from Roosevelt onto State Street and lighting the intersection as well as the residential areas near it.

The recommended plan for the state street and Roosevelt Avenue intersection project is to restrict left turns onto State Street with signage only came from Eau Claire city engineer, Dave Solberg.

"There was not a strong consensus to restrict left turn movements with a physical barrier. We have several locations around the city that prohibit left turns with signs only," he said.

Tomorrow the city council is expected to vote on the proposed name and on the re-design Tuesday.