Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
If you've attended the Chamber's monthly Eggs & Issues breakfasts, participated in the Chippewa Valley Rally to the State Capitol, or been involved in the Chamber's Governmental Affairs or Business & Workforce Development committees, you've had the opportunity to interact with the Chamber's 2017-18 interns. Congratulations to Kaylee Tracy and Savannah Sepic on their May 19 graduation from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. They've each played a valuable role as part of the Chamber team this year, and we wish them each the best as they move on to the next chapters in their lives.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
North Barstow TIF district value grows by 516%
The use of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) has been an important and successful development tool for the City of Eau Claire over the past 25 years, adding over $312 million in property value across the 11 districts.
Speaking at the Chamber's May 18 Eggs & Issues breakfast, City Finance Director Jay Winzenz brought business and community leaders up to date on "TIFs and Other Fun Facts about Municipal Finance." During his talk, Winzenz explained how TIFs work, and described the districts Eau Claire has implemented since 1983.
One of the most prominent, the North Barstow Tax Increment District (TID #8), was created in 2002 to revitalize the blighted area than now includes the Royal Credit Union corporate center, market rate apartment buildings, and the recently-constructed Jamf building. The city's investments in the area included environmental remediation, streets and utilities, and Phoenix Park. Since it started, the value of the area has grown from $12 million to almost $77 million.
Winzenz described the City's use of TIFs for downtown revitalization a "classic example" of the use of the concept, taking blighted areas and "turning them into a show place."
How Tax Increment Financing works
The chart below illustrates the concept behind Tax Increment Financing. The boundaries of the Tax Increment District are created to define the area where the municipal investment will be made. A current base value is established, and each of the public recipients of property tax revenue (County, City, CVTC and the School District) continue to receive taxes on the base value. As the value of the property grows, the incremental additional value goes to the city to pay back the investments made. The TID is closed after the investments are recovered, then each jurisdiction benefits from higher tax revenues from the new increased value.
Proceeds form TIDs can be used for various expenses related to development, ranging from public works improvements to property costs to environmental remediation, but must directly relate to its purpose. A key underpinning of TIF is the "but for" test: It can only be used if the development as conceived would not have occurred "but for" the use of TIF.
Three kinds of TIDs are allowable in Wisconsin: Industrial, Blight and Mixed-use. Eau Claire has used all three, the most recent being a Mixed-use TID in the Water Street area. The Confluence TID was an important part of the financing of the Public Private Partnership that has resulted in construction of Haymarket Landing and the soon-to-open Pablo Center at the Confluence.
Levy Limits, Tax Rates, Assessments and the City Budget
Winzenz introduced his presentation with explanations of how the City's annual tax levy is determined, how tax rates and set, and the upcoming city property revaluation.
State law limits the total dollars a city can collect in property taxes to the previous year's total, plus net construction growth. The tax rate is then simply a calculation of each property's share of the overall tax levy, based upon its proportionate value against all other property. The city periodically revalues properties to ensure fairness in assessment and collection of property taxes.
In Eau Claire, the City's 2018 total tax levy is about $41.7 million. Other property tax levies within the city: Eau Claire Schools, $46 million; Eau Claire County, $18.3 million, and CVTC $4.3 million. Residential properties account for 57.5% of the property taxes paid in the City, with 42.% paid by owners of commercial property.
The property tax revenue is the largest component (57%) of the city's revenue, so the tax levy has the most significant impact on what it has to work with in setting its annual budget. Since 1990, the percentage of City dollars coming from state shared revenues has fallen from over 53% of general fund revenue to 9.9% in 2018.
The City will adopt its 2019 budget in November, preceded by City Council discussions and a public hearing in October and November.
For more information, click here to see slides and data from the presentation.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
Starting this fall semester, Lakeland University, Chippewa Valley Center will offer a Master of Science in Leadership & Organizational Development (MS-LOD) degree, designed for the working adult. The MS-LOD program provides a broad-based professional education consisting of coursework that integrates research, case studies, technology and other learning processes.
Stephanie Rasmussen was named the chief experience officer of WESTconsin Credit Union, working from the Menomonie – East Administration Office. Rasmussen’s key responsibilities include planning, organizing, directing and controlling the company’s overall member experience and marketing, while managing WESTconsin’s brand and end-to-end member experience through all delivery channels. Rasmussen has worked at WESTconsin since 2016 as vice president – member experience. Before this, she held the position of manager of electronic services with Royal Credit Union, where she was employed for 12 years.
Literacy Chippewa Valley (LCV) announced that this year's recipient of the Eric J. Wahl "Making a Difference" Award is Sister Diane Boehm. Sister Diane is an LCV tutor and received the award today at LCV’s Celebration of the Stars. The Eric J. Wahl “Making a Difference” Award was created in memory of the late Eric J. Wahl who understood the importance of literacy in the lives of adults and their families. The award recognizes an individual in our community who is passionate about literacy and has demonstrated a significant commitment to the mission of Literacy Chippewa Valley.
HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals recently presented the 2018 Nurse Exemplar Awards to two very deserving registered nurses. These peer-nominated awards are the two hospitals’ highest nursing honors and recognize extraordinary nurses who exhibit excellence in caring for patients and families, provide personalized patient care, and have a superior level of knowledge and skill. At Sacred Heart Hospital, the award was presented to Kristine “Kristy” Terry, RN, CCRN, who works in the hospital’s critical care unit as a charge nurse. At St. Joseph’s Hospital, the award was presented to Regina “Regi” Geissler, RN, who works in the hospital’s emergency department as a trauma coordinator.
Congratulations to Dreamhouse Interiors on its move to their location in East Ridge Center. Eau Claire's trusted authority for all your flooring needs, including hardwood floor installation, hardwood floor refinishing, carpet, ceramic tile, vinyl flooring, and cork flooring. They also proudly offer a high quality selection of area rugs and window coverings as well as beautiful hand-crafted locally made Amish furniture.
Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire, hospital opening 2018
Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire is a fully integrated medical campus that will provide comprehensive inpatient and outpatient health care to residents in the Chippewa Valley. The campus is located at the corner of Clairemont Avenue and Craig Road in Eau Claire.
Advanced care hospital
The 44-bed, full-service hospital will include a wide-range of advanced care services, including:
Marshfield Clinic Cancer Care – Eau Claire
In addition to hospital inpatient care, Marshfield Clinic Cancer Center – Eau Claire Cancer Center, which opened in 2017, offers comprehensive outpatient adult and pediatric cancer care to Chippewa Valley residents. The center includes the same familiar faces –nurses, staff and physicians you’ve gotten to know and trust in a modern facility featuring cutting edge technology, treatment modalities and access to National Cancer Institute clinical research trials not available through other cancer programs in the area. As a patient within Marshfield Clinic Health System’s integrated system of care, you will continue to have access to our full spectrum of subspecialists, genetic resources, stem-cell transplant, gamma-knife and specialty pharmacy services that coordinate and compliment the care we provide here in the Chippewa Valley.
Marshfield Clinic – Eau Claire Center
More than 150 physicians and other health care professionals provide outpatient care in more than 35 primary and specialty care area including:
Eau Claire Physical Therapy Center
Eau Claire Physical Therapy Center has 12,000 square feet of space to accommodate an array of physical therapy services, including general outpatient orthopedics, sports therapy, women’s health, industrial and vestibular rehabilitation, lymphedema and sports performance and conditioning programs.
Comfort and Recovery Suites – Eau Claire
Comfort and Recovery Suites - Eau Claire is a licensed skilled nursing facility that offers restful, comfortable recovery from surgery or a procedure for patients. Service includes 24-hour access to care and medical staff, including physicians and nurses. Patients typically spend three to five days recovering from surgery and other medical conditions needing short term rehabilitation. The facility offers patients a place they can rest comfortably in private rooms, like suites, with their families for exceptional recovery.
Marshfield Clinic Health System’s goal is to improve outcomes and the patient’s experience while making care more affordable over time for the Chippewa Valley.We are advancing that effort by completing Marshfield Medical Center – Eau Claire, a fully unified medical campus with the new hospital opening this summer.
Please join us for a community tour of the hospital on June 14th from 4-7pm. The tour is self-guided and includes several stopping points of interest and education throughout the hospital. No registration is required.
Fries Financial Group announced that Timothy Fries, CFP ® financial advisor, has been named to the 2018 edition of the Financial Times 400 Top Financial Advisers. The list recognizes top financial advisers at national, independent, regional and bank broker-dealers from across the U.S. This is the sixth annual FT 400 list, produced independently by the Financial Times in collaboration with Ignites Research, a subsidiary of the FT that provides business intelligence on investment management. Financial advisers from across the brokerage industry applied for consideration, having met a set of minimum requirements. The applicants were then graded on six criteria: assets under management (AUM); AUM growth rate; experience; advanced industry credentials; online accessibility; and compliance records. The “average” adviser in this year’s FT 400 has 28 years’ experience and manages $1.4 billion in assets. The FT 400 advisers hail from 38 states and Washington, D.C.
To address the nationwide shortage of mental health care providers, the Mayo Clinic Psychiatry Residency Program in Rochester, Minnesota, will expand to include Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire. The Psychiatry Residency Program is a part of Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, one of the largest and most established graduate medical education programs for residents and fellows in the nation. Up to two additional psychiatry residents per training year will be available to see patients in northwest Wisconsin due to the expansion of Mayo Clinic’s residency program. Within a few years, the program expansion could add as many as eight practicing clinicians to the Eau Claire practice at one time. A resident physician is one who has received a medical degree and is furthering his or her training in a specialty, such as psychiatry. He or she sees patients while under the guidance of experienced physician faculty members, providing unparalleled learning experiences to transform health care for patients. Psychiatry residents will begin training in Eau Claire in 2020.
Heidi Carter recently joined Obstetrics & Gynecology at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire as a certified nurse-midwife. Carter earned a master’s degree in the Certified Nurse-midwife Program at Frontier Nursing University in Hyden Kentucky. She has worked in nursing since 2006. She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and Wisconsin Association for Perinatal Care. Carter’s professional interests include providing individualized health care to women, paying attention to their cultural, familial and social needs, with a particular interest in the LGBTQ population.
The Eau Claire Express Employment Professionals territory named Nicole Kauphusman as territory general manager. In this position, Kauphusman will partner with clients and business professionals to build relationships and help create and implement workforce solutions. Kauphusman is dedicated to providing excellent service and creative solutions in the Eau Claire Market. She previously managed the Winona, MN Express Employment Professionals office. Before joining Express, Kauphusman worked as a human resource business partner for Inland/In*Tech for a few years in La Crosse. She was in the staffing industry prior to working at Inland/In*Tech.
Prevea Health now offers midwifery care in four locations throughout Western Wisconsin: HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chippewa Falls, the Prevea Hamilton Health Center in Eau Claire, the Prevea Mondovi Health Center in Mondovi, and now, the Prevea Menomonie Health Center in Menomonie. Prevea Midwifery Care is provided by certified nurse-midwives, Annie Bailey and Karen Johnson, who joined Prevea Health in April.
Eau Claire City council: City offices to Move for 1 year, Transit Fares reduced for individuals with low income
City hall to move to former 3M building for one year this summer
At its May 8 legislative session, the Eau Claire City Council voted unanimously to approve a lease to move most city offices to the former 3M building at 2020 Prairie Lane on the city's northwest side for about a year beginning in July. The move is to allow for completion of major renovations in the current historic City Hall, which encompasses both the original Eau Claire City Hall and its Carnegie library.
The decision on the lease had been delayed for two weeks to give city staff time to confirm options for keeping City Council meetings at a downtown site. The council ultimately decided to hold its meetings at the Eau Claire County Courthouse in the County Board Room. The move may require some adjustments in timing of meetings and agendas to work around the county's own use of the facility. Also to be kept downtown, at a site to be determined, will be a city service center for functions elections, bill paying, etc. We will keep you posted as details are confirmed.
Bus fares to be reduced for riders who have low incomes
The Council also approved a plan to reduce city bus fares back to pre-increase levels for individual users whose incomes are at or below 185 percent of the federal poverty level. The move came after bus fares were increased by 25 cents per ride or $5 per monthly pass. When the council approved the fare increase as part of the city budget, there were concerns about the impact on affordability for low income riders. Council member Terry Weld and former Council member Kathy Mitchell asked the city staff to investigate options for a lower-income fare. The rollback is expected to cost $5,500 to $7,000 for the rest of the budget year. City Manager Dale Peters was also asked to consider options for a more substantial reduction in the next budget.
The Eau Claire City Council meets twice a month. The agenda is released the week before, with a Monday session at 7:00 p.m. to receive public comments, and a Tuesday session at 4:00 p.m. to take legislative action on business items and ordinances. Meetings are streamed live at Community Television/Valley Media Works and available to be viewed on demand within a couple days later. The next meetings will be on May 21 and 22.
Posted by: Scott Rogers, Governmental Affairs & Workforce Director
As much as she’d like to forget it, Sept. 15, 2016, is a day Julie George will never be able to erase from her memory.
The Eau Claire woman’s 21-year-old son, Dylan Walling, was riding his motorcycle on state Highway 93 en route to his grandmother’s house in Eleva when the unimaginable occurred.
A slow-moving manure spreader had caused a traffic backup. Walling, wearing a helmet but traveling an estimated 79 mph at the time, passed three cars before colliding with the farm vehicle as it began to turn left into a field. The right side of his body took the impact, leaving him seriously injured with a kidney laceration, liver split in two, head injury, right femur fracture, right forearm fracture, right ankle injury, collapsed lung, broken foot, torn heel pad and toes broken so severely that he almost severed them.
“It was literally the worst day of my life,” says George, fighting back tears.
Walling was transported by Mayo One helicopter to nearby Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, a Level II trauma center, where he remained for the next month — the first 10 days in a coma.
Doctors quickly assessed the severity of Walling’s injuries and determined his probability of survival to be just 20 percent. His most life-threatening injury was his liver, and the 2013 Elk Mound High School graduate advanced to the operating room within 14 minutes of his arrival to the hospital.
“Dylan had a total of 14 different surgical procedures over the course of about two weeks, most of them in the first couple of days,” explains David Ciresi, M.D., a general and trauma surgeon, and trauma medical director in Eau Claire. “The initial one that we did was to open his abdomen up, in what we call a laparotomy, to control the bleeding from his liver.”
Dr. Ciresi performed three of Walling’s surgeries — two on his abdomen and one on his trachea — and was 1 of 40 providers in a variety of disciplines to care for Walling during his hospitalization. Dr. Ciresi doubts Walling would have survived had he not come to a multidisciplinary, defined trauma center.
“No way, no how. He would’ve been dead within an hour and a half,” Dr. Ciresi says. “It was because of the coordination of care, and the multitude of different treatments that we have to offer that he survived and did as well as he did.”
A plastic surgeon was brought in for an intraoperative consult early on, when it was still unknown whether Walling’s right leg would need to be amputated. Doctors debated whether the limb could be salvaged or, in light of his infections, fever and other medical issues, the safest course was to remove it.
Following his month-long critical care hospitalization at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, he spent three weeks rehabilitating at another Eau Claire hospital. Later, a two-step surgical procedure was used to apply a skin substitute over Walling’s exposed bone and tendons to create a dermis or deeper layer of the skin. The substitute is covered by a silicone bilayer that stayed on for four weeks, after which time the wound was healed enough to put a skin graft over the area to further cover and repair it.
He received weekly physical and occupational therapy and, according to his care team, has made remarkable progress and is expected to make a full recovery.
“I feel pretty good,” says Walling, who remembers only a small portion of the day of his crash and only segments of his hospitalization. “I’m walking; not like normal, but I’m walking with very little pain.”
George marvels at how far her son has come and says she’ll be forever thankful to his medical team.
“They were completely amazing, and the nursing care that he received was phenomenal,” she says. “For how unbearable the situation was, they just made it so much easier to get through. They not only took care of Dylan, but they took care of the family.”
At the recently held 54th Annual Meeting of Royal Credit Union, two board members were re-elected to three-year terms— Bill Blackburn and John Sackett. Blackburn has served on the board since 2005 and also serves on the Finance Committee and Credit Oversight Committee.Sackett, a Certified Credit Union volunteer, has served on the board since 1984 in the positions of chairman and, most recently, treasurer. Sackett also serves on the Audit Committee, Political Action Committee and is creating the Board Advisory Committee. At the reorganization meeting, Doug Olson was elected chairman; Stuart Schaefer was elected vice chairman; Tom Huffcutt was elected treasurer; and Jennifer McDonough was elected secretary. Sackett, Nancy Beltz and Blackburn serve as directors.
Judy Pielhop, a registered nurse in the cardiac cath lab at Sacred Heart Hospital, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Father Klimek Healing Presence Award. Mona Klinger, a radiologic technologist in the radiology department at HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital, has been named the 2018 recipient of the St. Joseph’s Keeper of the Tradition Award. Pielhop has worked at Sacred Heart Hospital for 35 years and Klinger has worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital for 26 years. Their awards are the highest honor a colleague can receive at the two hospitals. Each award recognizes a long-term colleague who has dedicated his or her life to being a humble servant of the sick.
Mark Hofer, M.D., has been named Sacred Heart Hospital’s Physician of the Year for 2018, and Jill Hasenberg, D.O., has been named St. Joseph’s Hospital’s Physician of the Year for 2018. These awards are the highest clinical honor a physician can receive at the two hospitals. Hofer joined HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital in July 1989, and is affiliated with Pathology Service Corporation.
Hofer received his medical degree at the University of South Dakota and completed residency training at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison. Hofer currently chairs the credentials committee and both Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s practitioner health committees. He serves as the department chair for pathology, serves as the laboratory medical director and is a member of the medical executive committee. Hofer is a member of the hospital’s bylaws committee and previously served as chief of staff for Sacred Heart Hospital.
Hasenberg joined HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital in April 2006, and is affiliated with OakLeaf Clinics Eau Claire Medical Clinic – Chippewa Falls and provides medical coverage for St. Joseph’s Hospital’s L.E. Phillips-Libertas Treatment Center. She received her degree in osteopathic medicine from Des Moines University and completed her family practice residency at the University of Wisconsin Medical School – Fox Valley Family Practice Program in Appleton. Hasenberg currently serves as the medical staff vice president, the chair of the peer review committee, and was just recently voted in as the chair of the St. Joseph’s Hospital internal medicine/family medicine department.
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.