Eau Claire County Budget Needs Your Accountability Today!

At a meeting on Tuesday last week, the Eau Claire County Human Services Committee voted 7 to 1 against proposed amendments (numbers 6, 7, and 8) that would have cut 15 FTE positions and eliminated contracted services that provide needed trainings for staff in the County’s Human Services Department. 

But needed mental health and human services programs in our county are not yet in the clear! JONAH’s mental health task force asks you by Nov 1 to tell the Eau Claire County Board Members and the Eau Claire County Committee on Finance and Budget to vote no on these proposed amendments and any further amendments that would harm these programs and prevent them from being effectively carried out!

Additionally there are other proposed amendments that have JONAH leaders concerned, particularly potential unethical uses of ARPA dollars. We ask you to review the information and then submit public comment or appear in person on November 1. 

WHY We Need Human Services Programs:

EC County Human Services is federally mandated to provide the following:

•Economic Support Services

•Child Protective Services

•Youth Services

•Long-Term Support Service

•Adult Protective Services

•Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services

•Birth to Three Services

The County also receives revenue for many of these services. These services work to support individuals and families, and prevent more traumatizing and future more expensive issues. The consequences of not funding these programs are articulated in our previous email about this issue. JONAH has fought hard for the creation, implementation and maintenance of some of these programs.

ARPA Guidelines – https://www.gfoa.org/american-rescue-plan-spending-guiding-principles?utm_medium=email&utm_source=email_share&utm_campaign=email_share_v1 

Eligible uses of these funds include:

  • Revenue replacement for the provision of government services to the extent of the reduction in revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, relative to revenues collected in the most recent fiscal year prior to the emergency,
  • COVID-19 expenditures or negative economic impacts of COVID-19, including assistance to small businesses, households, and hard-hit industries, and economic recovery,
  • Premium pay for essential workers,
  • Investments in water, sewer, and broadband infrastructure.

Restrictions on the uses of these funds include:

  • Funds allocated to states cannot be used to directly or indirectly to offset tax reductions or delay a tax or tax increase;
  • Funds cannot be deposited into any pension fund.
  • Funding must be spent by the end of calendar year 2024.

What is needed:


JONAH asks you to:

  1. Contact the Committee on Finance and Budget with your comment.
  2. Submit public comment to the County Board in person on Nov 1 or by email by Nov 1 (https://www.eauclairecounty.gov/Home/Components/FormBuilder/FormBuilder/1ee88f3780fe46d6b04bb128069b130e/12242)
  3. Share this information where possible, and help us connect to people who have used these services – their voice is needed.


Proposed Ammendments

Here are the current proposed amendments to the Eau Claire County Board 2023 Budget  that will be discussed and voted on Nov 1. These are directly from the agenda found at: https://www.eauclairecounty.gov/our-government/county-board/meeting-agendas-minutes/-folder-1262 

Supervisory Amendments to the 2022 Budget (received by the County Administrator)

F&B-01: Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars instead of bonding for all General Government capital projects. These projects include $1,282,000 for maintenance on county buildings, $441,938 for technology infrastructure maintenance and replacements, and $196,500 for technology application enhancements. Page 38

F&B-02: Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars instead of bonding for all Culture & Recreation capital projects. These projects include $100,000 for contracted capital improvements at Beaver Creek Reserve and $1,105,698 for updates and maintenance at county Parks. Page 39

F&B-03: Use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars instead of bonding for all Conservation & Economic Development capital projects. These projects include $332,300 for lake rehabilitation projects (including the Skid Row project at Lake Eau Claire), $40,000 for aerial photos and trail signage, and $86,000 for equipment replacements. Page 40

F&B-04: Remove the 1.0 FTE Culture & Relations Coordinator in the Human Resources Department and use the savings to fund Circuit Court Door Locks. The Circuit Court door locks are included in the Administrator’s Recommended Budget in the capital improvement plan, to be funded by bond proceeds. Page 41

F&B-05: Create 1.0 Jail Lieutenant and create 4 1.0 Patrol Deputies to be funded by unassigned general fund balance Page 42

• Offered amendment to amendment F&B-05 from Supervisor Wilkie Page 45

F&B-06: Remove new 4.5 FTE in the Department of Human Services: 1.0 Social Worker – Crisis

1.0 FTE Social Worker – Access

1.0 FTE Records Supervisor/Manager 1.0 FTE Peer Support Specialist

PLEASE NOTE: Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities through sign language, interpreters or other auxiliary aids. For additional information or to request the service, contact the County ADA Coordinator at 839-4710, (FAX) 839-1669 or 839-4735, TTY: use Relay (711) or by writing to the ADA Coordinator, Human Resources, Eau Claire County Courthouse, 721 Oxford Avenue, Eau Claire, WI 54703.

.5 FTE increase Data Specialist

And to redistribute the duties to existing vacant positions Page 47

F&B-07: Reduce FTEs in the Department of Human Services so there is a net levy savings of $250,000. The amendment further proposes that at least two of these FTE need to be at a supervisor/manager level, and that the final changes need to be approved by the Human Services board and implemented on or before January 1, 2023. Page 48

F&B-08: Decrease the contracted services budget in the Department of Human Services by $110,000 for the Alia contract Page 49

• Offered amendment to amendment F&B-08 from Supervisor Wilkie Page 50 F&B-09: Grant $2,000 to Project Lifesaver from unassigned general fund balance Page 51

F&B-10: Abolish .4 FTE Coon Fork Park Ranger and create 1.0 FTE Parks & Program Manager, to be funded by unassigned general fund balance Page 52

F&B-11: Create 1.0 FTE for a Network Analyst to focus on cybersecurity and data analytics to be funded from unassigned general fund balance Page 55

F&B-12: Increase Highway capital projects funded by bond proceeds by $400,000 to a total amount of $2,823,738 Page 56

Supervisor Wilkie-13: Administration, contracted services summary, professional services, delete $8,000– page 1, insert $8,000 into Eau Claire County Community Agency Funding Framework-allocate as followed to Eau Claire Housing Authority $3,500, additional funding to Family Promise of the Chippewa Valley- $1500, Sojourner House (Catholic Charities)$1,500 and, Bolton Refuge House $1,500 Page 57

Supervisor Hoekstra-14: Removing staff position of Culture and Relations Coordinator Page 58Supervisor Wilkie-15: County Board members’ training funding is budgeted in County Board, Supplies & Equipment. Historically, this line is overestimated. The 2023 Recommended budget is $27,600–2022 budget is $29,700-2022 with a 2022 estimate of-$9,004—2021 actual-$21,559==2020 actual-$14,725—2019 actual- $14,007. Page 59

CONTACT INFO For Committee on Finance & Budget: 

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]