Where the Money Comes From

a quick list of some funding options

by: Trevor Kupfer

    The City of Eau Claire has an annual budget for capital improvement projects and street maintenance, but a roadway vision above and beyond the norm may require additional funding streams.


Community development block grants – a program that, in part, can cover infrastructure development

Grant monies – there’s too many out there to begin to cover, but we gotta dig to find them and spend the time to apply for them

SAFETEA — The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act allows cities the flexibility in allocating federal road funds to pedestrian, bike, transit, and community-oriented work

Improvement districts – Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) involve businesses paying additional taxes or fees to fund improvements in the area, and Tax Increment Finance Districts (TIFs) use future gains in taxes to finance current improvements.


Wheel taxes – a locally proposed idea that would impose a charge per vehicle, the funds of which could be dedicated to roads

Bike registration fees – another city-imposed taxation option, this time per bicycle, the funds of which could go straight to bike-friendly infrastructure

In-kind services – we could pay for different elements without digging into the budget by trading for goods and services

Private donations – if non-profits can do it year-in and year-out, why can’t we give it a shot?

Adoption and own-a-piece programs – Individuals taking responsibility for the upkeep and improvement of a piece of the community.

“Less and less public money is available these days, especially for those improvements categorized as ‘quality of life’ — that is, the ones that enhance our day-to-day experience of living in and being part of a community. It will probably take more than one source of funding to make a vision of place a reality, plus some sustained and creative digging to come up with other sources of support.”

– Project for Public Spaces

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