EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Each spring, department heads in the City of Eau Claire get together to work on the Capital Improvement Plan. This plan lays out capital projects that will be funded for the next five years.

In the 2023-2027 Capital Improvement Plan, the city intended to give $500,000 to the Eau Claire County Humane Association. In the latest proposal, the shelter is not getting any funding.

From the development of parks to street maintenance and more, the Capital Improvement Plan aims to allocate money for various projects across the city for the next five years.

“This year, we focused on investing in safety items and maintaining the infrastructure of our buildings, of our streets,” Kitsie Winters, Finance Director for the city of Eau Claire, said. “So, we really got down to the necessary and required items. So, we didn’t have to pay more in the future going forward.”

By putting more money towards building and street infrastructure, organizations like the Eau Claire County Humane Association actually lost funding. The shelter was planning to put that money towards the construction of its new buildings. Shelley Janke, the Executive Director of ECCHA said she hopes to get that funding back.

“There’s no other organization in Eau Claire County that’s providing the services that we provide,” Janke said. “We want to keep our city safe. We want to keep all the stray and abandoned animals in a safe place so that they can find new homes, and we are the entity that’s able to provide that.”

In 2022, Janke said ECCHA took in more than 600 stray or abandoned animals from the city and the new buildings will help continue to provide those services.

“We’re still going to move forward,” Janke said. “We’re still going to build a great facility. It just might mean that we have to compensate in a few other areas, which we certainly don’t want to have to do.”

Both Janke and Winters said those interested in sharing thoughts on the Capital Improvement Plan should reach out to their local representatives.

“In addition to attending the public discussions or contacting your representatives, this is the Eau Claire County Humane Association so I would really encourage you to cast that larger net and reach out for further donations from all other areas as well,” Janke said.

Janke said staff and supporters of ECCHA are planning on going in front of the Eau Claire City Council on June 12 to share why they believe it is important to provide that funding.

The city council is scheduled to vote on the Capital Improvement Plan on July 11.