City votes to support Confluence non-profit

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- The Eau Claire City Council confirms its support for a non-profit group to be called "Eau Claire Confluence Inc." The 9-2 vote came during the council's meeting Tuesday night .

“Eau Claire Confluence Inc. is really going to be the ownership group involved with it and they will own it,” City Manager Russ Van Gompel explained.

Van Gompel says the Non-Profit would own the performing arts center portion of the project.

“This resolution is important because it shows the cities willingness to participate in the project and it's a letter of support,” grant writer Wallace Rogers said.

When it comes to applying for $25-million in state money for the performing arts center, Wallace Rogers has been hard at work. Over the last few weeks, Rogers has been meeting with stake holders and crafting a grant application that will hopefully land the project major funding.

“One of the key points is to convince the state that the project is sustainable,” he explained.

Rogers says getting the city's backing in the project is crucial in forming a strong grant application by a deadline of this Friday. He adds city backing is just one portion of the equation.

Ben Richgruber with the Eau Claire Regional Arts Council, a stakeholder in the project, says a strong showing of community support through philanthropy and fundraising is key.

“It makes a difference. The more progress we can show on the ownership side the more that the city county and state can show that progress is being made. It makes it easier on the fundraising side too,” Richgruber explained.

As far as meeting the Friday deadline for the non-state agency grant. Writers say they are on track to meet that goal.

The city manager says the earliest the new Eau Claire Confluence Inc. non-profit would find out if they were awarded a grant would be this February.

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