space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin - Is It Spring?...
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Peshtigo's Lepkowski Heads To State; OFalls Sends Six Led By Trepanier/Ash
* Coleman Sends Six Wrestlers To State; Florence/Niagara, Oconto Send 1 Each
* Six M&O Teams to Play in Regional Semis
* Lena Stops Suring in OT; Peshtigo Clinches M&O Title
* Peshtigo and Suring Remain in Contention for M&O Title

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Marinette Forms City Tourism Commission

Thanks to a new state law that went into effect with the start of 2017, the City of Marinette has formed a new commission to decide how to best use the approximately $300,000 a year they collect through the city's room tax.

The group met for the first time on Friday, Jan. 27. Members are Mayor Steve Genisot; Alderman Dorothy Kowalski, representing City Council and its Finance Committee, K.C. Wilson, manager of the Best Western Riverside Hotel, representing hotels and motels, and Scott Wahl as a citizen at large.

A number of other interested parties were on hand for Friday's meeting, including Marinette City Attorney Jonathan Sbar, Marinette County Supervisor Shirley Kaufman, who is a former city alderman and current chair of the county's Economic Development and Tourism Committee; former Marinette Mayor Doug Oitzinger; representatives of American Legion Baseball; City Clerk Lana Bero; City Finance Director Jackie Miller, Judy Alwin, who runs the state Visitor's Center on Stephenson Island in Marinette.

Genisot has been serving as acting chair to get the new commission organized, so the first order of business at Friday's meeting was election of a regular chair.

Wahl nominated Wilson, explaining he is the one member in the hotel business and therefore most versed in what types of promotion might be most beneficial to them. Kowalski seconded and everyone voted in favor.

Sbar distributed copies of a Wisconsin Legislative Council information memorandum on the two new state law provisions that govern municipal room taxes in Wisconsin. Those laws created the need for the city to form a committee or commission to govern spending of the room taxes it collects. That had previously been optional.

Sbar said that provision had been somewhat controversial, since it takes some authority away from cities. He suspected it was enacted as a result of lobbying by the hotel association, "but it is what is and it is in place," he said, indicating they must work with it.

There is a bit of confusion over provisions in the two laws that seem to conflict, with one saying they must contract with some other tourism entity, and another saying the committee or commission can decide how to spend the room tax money. The League of Municipalities advises that they must contract with an entity, but how much they spend that way is up to the Commission.

There was a long discussion on what constitutes a "tourism entity," and commissions were asked to look into options and ideas before their next meeting when they may or may not make a decision. A requirement that the entity's board of directors must include at least one representative of a lodging place that collects the room tax, so at this point neither the Marinette County Tourism Alliance nor the Marinette Menominee Chamber of Commerce would meet the criteria. If the Alliance were incorporated it would qualify with or without a city hotel memo on its board. Also, the Chamber is a Marinette and Menominee entity, and not entirely City of Marinette.

Sbar asked about the possibility the county' Tourism Alliance will be incorporated as a private non-profit, which has been on their agenda for consideration. Currently it is a county committee, an arrangement that had been put in place a few years ago as an interim measure until the group could be incorporated.

Kaufman said the group is waiting to find out what happens with the city, and with making the tourism coordinator's part time job into a full time position.

There was talk of what the city can do if a qualifying organization does not exist, which at this point seems to be the case. It appears any city-based non-profit organization might meet the legal requirements. However, Sbar said under the non-profit option, the entity would need to spend 51 percent of its total budget on tourism.

Also, Sbar said, while the law says they must contract with a tourism entity, it does not say how much of the room tax proceeds they have to contract for. He felt even a contract for $500 a year would fulfill the requirement, which would leave the Commission free to decide for itself how to best use the rest of the room tax money.

The city is allowed to retain up to 30 percent of the room tax money for regular expenses. The remaining 70 percent must be used to promote tourism in the city.

Genisot said the by law the organization they contact with must spend at least 51 percent of the room tax money it gets to promote tourism in the city, not 51 percent of its entire budget.

Genisot and Sbar agreed the decision could be delayed, and asked members to give some thought to the possibilities before the next meeting. Sbar advised giving some thought to deciding just want they want the contracted entity to do for the city.

To questions from Oitzinger, Sbar said the city itself has no control over how the 70 percent of room tax money is spent, only the Commission does. However, the Council is represented by Alderman Kowalski, who is also chair of the Finance Committee.

Wilson asked if there is any limit on how long the city can let the room tax money accumulate before it is spent, and Sbar said to his knowledge there is none. They can have for big ticket items like a convention center, for example.

The city collected $265,000 in room tax dollars last year, but the budget had anticipated $300,000. That money helped pay some city expenses, for example the money that went to the Tourist Information Center for expenses and supplies and Logging Festival seed money.

To questions from other Commission members, Wilson said the hotel business is seasonal, and they are generally full in summer. He said while the Cabella's Walleye Tournament will be wonderful exposure and a great thing for the city and the area as a whole, "It's the winter months we need promoted." He said even Marinette Marine seems to station more personnel there in summer. He felt sports tournaments are the only really logical things to work on to draw visitors and fill hotel rooms in winter.

Wahl asked for a report at the next meeting on what roommate money came in in recent years and how it was spent.

There will be some expenses for the city to host the huge Cabella's National Walleye Tournament this summer, and at Friday's meeting the Commission approved paying for the major item, the $15,000 host fee. Other obligations for the city include hosting a complimentary pairing meeting/reception for approximately 300 people on Tuesday, Aug. 15, the evening prior to the start of the tournament, with location and food provided by the city; provide volunteers as needed to work during the tournament, and provide complimentary ice for fish care during the event. Cost of ice alone could be well over $500.

Wilson said Best Western has agreed to "comp" some of the needed rooms. Genisot said the county will likely put $5,000 toward tournament expenses. Sbar noted they have also applied for a GEM Grant from the State Department of Tourism to help cover expenses.

The city also must provide an adequate launch facility and weigh-in sites during all the days of the event, provide complimentary housing for the tournament staff and camera crew (10 rooms for five nights), and locate discounted/preferred hotel rates to advertise to tournament anglers. Contestants will probably need 750 room nights during the event.

"No city has ever lost on this, they just welcome their money back," Alwin declared.

How future funding requests will be handled is a decision to be made by the Commission in the future. Some items, for example bleachers for the baseball field, already are in the city budget. Other items of that sort would go first to the Parks and Recreation Committee, the city's Finance Committee, and then to the Room Tax Commission.

Genisot suggested before their next meeting commisison members should do some research to find out what other communities do, what sorts of projects they fund, and in general, what criteria they require.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
02-22-2017Front Page
PLACE SECOND

02-22-2017Front Page
County May Donate $1.5 Million For Marinette Community Center

02-22-2017Front Page
Lt. Ducane Is New Traffic Safety Commission Chair

02-22-2017Front Page
Pottratz, Wiedemeier, Staudenmaier, Buechler Win In Town of Peshtigo

02-22-2017Front Page
County Jail Population Nears Excess Capacity

02-22-2017Sports
Peshtigo's Lepkowski Heads To State; OFalls Sends Six Led By Trepanier/Ash

02-22-2017Sports
Coleman Sends Six Wrestlers To State; Florence/Niagara, Oconto Send 1 Each

02-22-2017Sports
Six M&O Teams to Play in Regional Semis

02-22-2017Sports
Lena Stops Suring in OT; Peshtigo Clinches M&O Title

02-22-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin - Is It Spring?...

02-22-2017Perspectives
From My Window - Part II - Going, Going, Gone

02-22-2017Perspectives
From Our Readers

02-22-2017Perspectives
From Our Readers

02-22-2017Obituaries
Florence A. Zielinski

02-22-2017Obituaries
Illma E. Young

02-22-2017Obituaries
Harvey Wellnitz

02-22-2017Obituaries
Jon Wangerin

02-22-2017Obituaries
Rev. Donald F. Wandersee

02-22-2017Obituaries
Dorothy M. Van

02-22-2017Obituaries
Eugene J. Turner

02-22-2017Obituaries
Gary R. Steinwehr

02-22-2017Obituaries
Beatrice V. Olson

02-22-2017Obituaries
Patricia L. Milbach

02-22-2017Obituaries
Roxanne L. Huff

02-22-2017Obituaries
Glendon A. Harvey

02-22-2017Obituaries
James A. Briley

02-22-2017Obituaries
Kenneth G. Becker

02-22-2017Obituaries
Pat Waselchuk

02-22-2017Obituaries
Bruce F. Schulz

02-22-2017Obituaries
William J. Pytleski

02-22-2017Obituaries
Arlene E. Peterson

02-22-2017Obituaries
Michael E. Linley

02-22-2017Obituaries
Roy E. Johnson

02-22-2017Obituaries
Donald B. Geurts

02-22-2017Obituaries
Barry Danford

02-22-2017Obituaries
Coreena L. Chaltry

02-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Lions Bowling Tourney Mar. 11, 18

02-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Town Board of Audit Finds Books in Order

02-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Youth Rally at Wausaukee Feb. 28

02-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Town Board of Audit Finds Books in Order

02-22-2017Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Board Okays Ordinance Amendments

02-22-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Woman's Club Girls Night Out Apr. 17

02-22-2017Community - Crivitz
11 at Monday Card Group

02-22-2017Community - Coleman
Register for Trinity School 3K, 4K

02-22-2017Community - Coleman
Equity Park Annual Craft Fair, Flea Market

02-22-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman/Pound Has Busy Court Action

02-22-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Child Development Days, RegisterJr. Kindergarten

02-22-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman School Board Feb. 27

02-15-2017Front Page
Organize Citizens Building Committee for School Options

02-15-2017Front Page
Town of Peshtigo Has Feb. 21 Primaries for Chair, Supervisor

02-15-2017Front Page
Two Week Trial For Menominee Murder Suspect Is Underway

02-15-2017Front Page
Wausaukee Rescue Squad Has Annual Meeting Feb. 12

02-15-2017Front Page
Primaries Feb. 21 For State School Superintendent, Peshtigo Town Offices

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
CCBA To Meet at Barnstormers

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman Accepts Open Enrollment

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman K.C. Plans March 3rd Fish Fry

02-15-2017Community - Coleman
Youth Baseball Signup Dates

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Country Gospel Jam Feb. 17

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Middle Inlet Eligible For T.R.I.D, T.R.I.P In 2018

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Stephenson Board Approves Rescue Squad Contracts

02-15-2017Community - Crivitz
Clip-Clop Trail Riders Receive $4100 Donation

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Lions Bowling Tourney Mar. 11, 18

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Winners in Silver Cliff Card Party

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Youth Rally at Wausaukee Feb. 28

02-15-2017Community - Wausaukee
Guest Speakers at Presbyterian Churches

02-15-2017Obituaries
Raymond Younger

02-15-2017Obituaries
William J. Wazniak 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Gordon VanLaanen

02-15-2017Obituaries
Willard S. Paugh, Jr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Dennis L. Nicklaus

02-15-2017Obituaries
Shelby J. Mcbride

02-15-2017Obituaries
Eleanor LaLiberte 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lon M. LeFebre

02-15-2017Obituaries
Ella Just

02-15-2017Obituaries
May A. (Bates) Jandt

02-15-2017Obituaries
Richard Gibbs 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Warren J. Faust 

02-15-2017Obituaries
Betty Lou Erdman

02-15-2017Obituaries
Robert J. Dyer

02-15-2017Obituaries
H. Bielinski Sr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lodavine I. Thorne

02-15-2017Obituaries
Thomas A. Rost

02-15-2017Obituaries
Marcia J. Ottmar

02-15-2017Obituaries
Robert E. Mays

02-15-2017Obituaries
James Mastejko

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lorraine V. Marrs

02-15-2017Obituaries
Lavina M. Hofer

02-15-2017Obituaries
Gregory F. Gritt

02-15-2017Obituaries
Jeffrey M. Forgette

02-15-2017Obituaries
Guy Jordan Erb, Jr.

02-15-2017Obituaries
Clarence E. Engel

02-15-2017Obituaries
Scott A. Baumler

02-15-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-15-2017Perspectives
From our readers

02-15-2017Perspectives
From My Window

02-15-2017Sports
Peshtigo and Suring Remain in Contention for M&O Title

02-15-2017Sports
Peshtigo Experience Shines Against Wausaukee

02-15-2017Sports
Area Wrestlers Advance to Sectional Competition

02-15-2017Sports
Lady Bucs Finish Undefeated; Win Third Straight WCC Title

02-08-2017Obituaries
Peter R. Zimmer

02-08-2017Obituaries
Clutch Zeske 

02-08-2017Obituaries
David W. Wickstrom

02-08-2017Obituaries
Marilyn S. VanBeek

02-08-2017Obituaries
Virgil C. Thomson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Mary L. Olson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Joseph M. Massie

02-08-2017Obituaries
Terry J. Nelson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Carmelita S. Lloyd

02-08-2017Obituaries
Alfred C. Lindstrom, Jr.

02-08-2017Obituaries
Robert Leafe

02-08-2017Obituaries
Shirley A. Konop

02-08-2017Obituaries
Marie J. Konell

02-08-2017Obituaries
Leslie L. Kehl

02-08-2017Obituaries
Bernard L. Jashinsky

02-08-2017Obituaries
Father Norman A. Clisch

02-08-2017Obituaries
Andre M. Christenson

02-08-2017Obituaries
Sister Jacqueline Capelle, OSF

02-08-2017Obituaries
Beatrice Bushey

02-08-2017Obituaries
Helen Stec

02-08-2017Obituaries
Gustav J. Schenkoske

02-08-2017Obituaries
Ivan W. Lusardi, Sr

02-08-2017Obituaries
Ronald J. Laundree

02-08-2017Obituaries
Rudolph J. Kristoff

02-08-2017Obituaries
Gaylord H. King

02-08-2017Obituaries
Tracy J. Heinz

02-08-2017Obituaries
George W. Felch

02-08-2017Obituaries
Joseph DeGroot

02-08-2017Obituaries
Duane Braham

02-08-2017Obituaries
Blanche B. Bolen

02-08-2017Obituaries
Leona Berg

02-08-2017Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-08-2017Obituaries
Lillian M. Belongia

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Sweet Sale for Wausaukee Church

02-08-2017Perspectives
From our readers

02-08-2017Perspectives
From My Window

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Wine, Beer Tasting Event

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions Bowl Tourney

02-08-2017Community - Wausaukee
Collect 56 Units in Blood Drive

02-08-2017Sports
M&O Boys Basketball - Suring/Lena Keep Title Hopes Alive

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
Parkinson Meeting at Menominee on Feb. 16

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
State Park Plans Candlelight Hike

02-08-2017Community - Crivitz
High Falls Fish-O-Rama, Radar Run, and Winterfest

02-08-2017Sports
M&O Girls Basketball - Peshtigo Maintains Lead Going Into Final Stretch

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Local Winners in Free Throw Contest

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Coleman KC Free Throw Contest

02-08-2017Sports
Area Grapplers Start Post-Season Tournaments

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
Living Waters Church Holds Annual Meeting

02-08-2017Community - Coleman
CCBA Meet February 16

02-08-2017Front Page
RECEIVE DEFIBRILLATOR


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do You Support President Trumps Executive Order on Immigration?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2017
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites