Xcel Energy officials announced Tuesday the company has donated $250,000 to the Confluence Project in downtown Eau Claire.
“We are pleased as we can be to invest today in this project and help make a difference,” Ben Fowke, Xcel Energy chairman, president and CEO, said in a news conference at The Livery. “This is a project that has been a great collaboration with business, private, public, university and all of the stakeholders in the community coming together to make a difference, and we’re happy to do our part.”
After the Xcel donation, private funding for the $45 million Confluence Arts Center has exceeded $13 million, according to the Eau Claire Community Foundation. In addition, another $23.5 million has been pledged by state, county and city government, and $3 million is expected from new market tax credits.
“This is the start of the end of the road,” Confluence Fundraising Committee co-chair Jill Barland said of the Xcel contribution.
The revised goal for philanthropic support is $15 million, so local officials will be seeking to fill in the remaining gap by September, when construction of the community arts center at the confluence of the Chippewa and Eau Claire rivers downtown is expected to begin.