Eau Claire City Hall

Downtown Eau Claire Inc. and a group of classic car enthusiasts are planning monthly car and motorcycle shows that will take up four blocks of downtown streets.

The nonprofit focused on downtown’s revitalization is working with Westhill Auto Rallies to host five free downtown car shows with the first happening next weekend.

The event’s organizers are seeking the City Council’s approval on Tuesday afternoon to allow the shows to cordon off four blocks of downtown Eau Claire.

As proposed by DECI, each show would take up the 200 and 300 blocks of Graham Avenue and the 100 and 200 blocks of East Grand Avenue.

The first show is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The other four shows would take place in evenings, starting at 5 p.m. on June 11, July 16, Aug. 17 and Sept. 17.

In addition to cars and motorcycles on display, the shows also will feature food trucks so attendees can buy a meal or snack.

About 500 people are expected to attend each show, according to the event’s application.

Few licenses left

A tavern that plans to open later this year is applying for one of the few liquor licenses that Eau Claire has available.

An Eau Claire landmark building that had once been a lumber company’s office is in the process of being turned into Rolbiecki’s, 1004 Menomonie St.

Hoping to open around October, owners Christie and James Rolbiecki are applying for a liquor license, which the City Council will vote on during its Tuesday meeting.

With all of the city’s regular $500 liquor licenses already taken by other businesses, the Rolbieckis are applying for one of the city’s reserve licenses, which cost $11,500 each.

The state regulates the number or regular alcohol licenses that cities can issue, but allows them to then create reserve licenses based on a formula based on their population size. In Eau Claire’s case, it has a quota of 20 reserve licenses.

Fifteen other businesses already have reserve liquor licenses and if the Rolbieckis get theirs on Tuesday, the city will only have four left to issue, according to a city memo.

Contracts to be let

The City Council is slated to vote Tuesday on three contracts, including one for a firm that would design a new bus depot in downtown Eau Claire.

Architecture and engineering firm LHB of Duluth, Minn., is the front-runner to get the contract to draw up plans for the city’s new Transit Center with a bid of $393,212.

A city staff memo accompanying the bid noted that the company has designed bus transit centers for other cities as well.

Another contract slated for approval would hire Thorp-based Haas Sons to do about $538,300 of road work this summer. The contract includes road resurfacing, curb and sidewalk replacement on four blocks of Water Street and about a half-mile section of Riverview Drive west of Airport Road.

A third contract the council will vote on would pay $531,130 to RAM Construction Services of Minnesota to do maintenance repair projects on the city’s parking structures.

Final hotel approval

After getting the city Plan Commission’s blessing last week, a project that would replace the aging Clarion, 2703 Craig Road, with two new hotels is scheduled for final approval from the City Council.

The proposal by local hospitality firm Larson Cos. will face a public hearing at Monday night’s meeting before the council makes its deciding vote on Tuesday afternoon.

As planned, the 46-year-old Clarion would be demolished after UW-Eau Claire’s spring semester is over and students who have been using the hotel as a dormitory have departed.

Construction of a four-story, 90-room hotel would then begin this summer with an anticipated opening in spring 2020. The timing to build an additional 103-room hotel and an as-yet-unknown commercial business also on the 5.3-acre site has not yet been decided.

Other business

Also during Tuesday’s City Council meeting:

• Brent Douglas Flowers, 610 S. Barstow St., is seeking the city’s approval to place portable garden planters on paved boulevards between the sidewalk and curb of the 600 block of S. Barstow Street. This would be the second year the flower and gift shop has worked with volunteers to grow vegetables and other plants to beautify the street and provide fresh produce to a local homeless shelter.

• A code of conduct for elected city officials will be voted on by the City Council.

Contact: 715-833-9204, andrew.dowd@ecpc.com, @ADowd_LT on Twitter