Eau Claire City Council takes on gun safety, hybrid buses, conversion therapy, and public intoxication

Eau Claire (WQOW) – The Eau Claire City Council had a lot on its plate Tuesday.

Eau Claire is ranked second in the nation for the “drunkest” cities, according to the latest rankings by 24/7 Wall Street.

Now Eau Claire officials are looking to change that standard by imposing a public intoxication ordinance.

This ordinance makes it illegal for people to drink on others’ property without permission, be visibly intoxicated on public sidewalks and streets, and have things like indoor couches and tables on front lawns.

Council members believe the ordinance will help curb binge drinking in Eau Claire.

In an effort to stay green, the city council is applying to use grant money to replace diesel buses with new hybrid ones.

The money comes from the Transit Capital Assistance Grant Program. The statewide program is funded as part of a settlement with Volkswagen, after they were found breaking the Clean Air Act in 2016.

The city would get five new hybrid buses, costing about $3.25 million. The city would be responsible to pay back a portion of the cost from the shared revenue budget over 10 years.

The Council also voted to send a message to state lawmakers about where Eau Claire stands on gun control.

The vote was unanimous, on a resolution that urges state and federal law makers to have 48-hour waiting periods, extensive background checks, and other “common sense” gun laws.

This passed, after an amendment to emphasize mental health funding for awareness and treatment.

The resolution was crafted by students from Eau Claire and city council members.

Lastly, the council introduced an ordinance to ban conversion therapy in the city of Eau Claire.

It’s defined as psychiatric therapy meant to change a person’s sexual orientation.

As we’ve reported, the Eau Claire County Board passed a resolution to urge lawmakers to ban the therapy across the state.

Unlike the county’s version, Council Member Kate Beaton said the council has the power to ban the practice in city limits.

They will vote on that item October 9.

Justin Esterly

Justin Esterly

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