space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions
* Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors
* Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports
* Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble
* Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

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

Issue Date: February 1, 2017

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
06-22-2018Sports
WIAA Crowns Four State Spring Baseball Champions

06-22-2018
Peshtigo High School softball team members, Madi Martin and Shae Tonn were chosen to play in the Division 2/3 game held on June 12

06-21-2018Front Page
Marinette County Breakfast on the Farm is June 24th

06-21-2018Front Page
Kass Resigns County Finance Director Post

06-21-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Police Chief Resigns, Moving Back To Michigan

06-21-2018Front Page
Infrastructure Committee Wants To Move Back To Peshtigo Shop

06-21-2018Front Page
Kiosk At Riverside Cemetery To Help Identify Grave Sites

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
CHS 1943-65 Class Reunion is July 15th

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Car Show Vendor Deadline June 25

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Library To Host Ice Cream Social

06-21-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Youth Basketball Camp

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz VFW Post 2063 Meets

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
Camp Bird Event is June 20-22

06-21-2018Community - Crivitz
M&M Area Foundation Helps Fund School Supplies

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Jose Honored as Legionnaire of Year

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane/Silver Cliff Legion Post 66 To Meet June 23

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Harvest Dinner at Presbyterian Church

06-21-2018Community - Wausaukee
Blood Drive at Silver Cliff Rescue

06-21-2018Obituaries
Shirley J. Behnke

06-21-2018Obituaries
Eunice R. Borst

06-21-2018Obituaries
Betty M. Dettloff

06-21-2018Obituaries
June E. Diercks

06-21-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Downs

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edith Franzen

06-21-2018Obituaries
Edna M. Garon

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary Louise Gauld

06-21-2018Obituaries
Thomas A. Gilligan

06-21-2018Obituaries
Mary C. Gocht

06-21-2018Obituaries
Peggy Madden

06-21-2018Obituaries
Gerald F. Wescher

06-21-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-21-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-21-2018Perspectives
From our Readers

06-21-2018Sports
Multiple Marines Awarded Spring Post-Season Honors

06-21-2018Sports
Bulldogs Picked for Packerland Honors In Three Spring Sports

06-21-2018
Martin/Tonn Play in WFSCA All Star Game

06-21-2018Sports
Little River Hosts Fathers Day Scramble

06-14-2018Front Page
Coleman Annexes Property For Cheese Factory Project

06-14-2018Front Page
Pound Fireman's Picnic, Car Show Both In June

06-14-2018Front Page
Environmental Groups Pledge To Continue Back Forty Fight

06-14-2018Front Page
PFAS Found At Tyco Stanton Street Facility

06-14-2018Front Page
Grover Residents Advised To Keep Fire Signs Visible

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Renovation Tour On Coleman School Board June 18 Agenda

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
Continue to Feature Cougar Walls of Fame

06-14-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Junior High Students Attain Honors

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion Run for Recovery

06-14-2018
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Monthly CPR Class at Crivitz Clinic

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Announces 4th Quarter Honor Roll

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Alee Aragon Addresses Auxiliary

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Back to School Program Receives $3,000

06-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Sponsors Farmers Market

06-14-2018Sports
Marinette/Menominee Open Summer Seasons with Wins

06-14-2018
Area Golfers Receive GCAW Academic All State Honors

06-14-2018Sports
Five High Schools Claim WIAA State Softball Titles

06-14-2018Sports
Busy Season For Marinette Parks & Rec & Public Works

06-14-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-14-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-14-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Sports
WIAA Softball State Tourney Starts June 7

06-07-2018Sports
Area Golfers Battle Through Tough State Course

06-07-2018Sports
Peshtigo's Rauch Captures D2 State Pole Vault Title

06-07-2018Sports
Coleman/Wausaukee Bow Out In Sectionals

06-07-2018Perspectives
From Our Readers

06-07-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

06-07-2018Perspectives
From My Window

06-07-2018Obituaries
Richard L. Dantinne

06-07-2018Obituaries
Mildred Donlevy 

06-07-2018Obituaries
Clara (Wasmund) Druckrey

06-07-2018Obituaries
John F. Egofske

06-07-2018Obituaries
Dixie K. Gard

06-07-2018Obituaries
Lila M. Hallada

06-07-2018Obituaries
Myron C. Klika

06-07-2018Obituaries
Donald D. Kroening

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kent W. Lantow

06-07-2018Obituaries
John W. Lesniak

06-07-2018Obituaries
Marsha A. Lindgren

06-07-2018Obituaries
Beth M. Mireau

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bonnie R. Berton-Neumeyer

06-07-2018Obituaries
Nancy J. Prange

06-07-2018Obituaries
Bruce E. Ranzinger

06-07-2018Obituaries
Ellen M. Raygo

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kathryn Schahczinski

06-07-2018Obituaries
Russell L. Schwartz

06-07-2018Obituaries
Kenneth J. VanDreel

06-07-2018Obituaries
John P. Wingers

06-07-2018Obituaries
Leonard F. Wirkus

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Church Rummage Sale/Cook Out

06-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
SC Fire-Rescue to Plan Picnic

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Class of 1988 Reunion on Aug. 18

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Ice Cream Social at Crivitz June 28

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Meeting for Girl Scouts at Crivitz

06-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Woman's Club Pop-Up Sale

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Village Pound Car Show is June 30th

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Picnic Dates June 15-16

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board To Meet

06-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Schools List Summer Office Hours

06-07-2018Front Page
New Brazeau Building Honors Elizabeth Washebek

06-07-2018Front Page
Final Permit Issued For Back Forty Mine

06-07-2018Front Page
Peshtigo Council Approves 1% Hike In Water Rates

06-07-2018Front Page
Late Season Snow Blamed For City Recreation Issues

06-07-2018Front Page
Town Peshtigo Airs Road, Billing Issues

05-31-2018Perspectives
From My Window

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers/Badgers Face Off in Regional Final Today

05-31-2018Sports
Rangers Are Last Team Standing on Tournament Trail

05-31-2018Sports
Area Athletes Head To State Meet In LaCrosse

05-31-2018Sports
Peshtigo Takes Perfect Record To State

05-31-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

05-31-2018Obituaries
Earl J. Alsteen

05-31-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth L. Anglehart

05-31-2018Obituaries
James A. Benesh

05-31-2018Obituaries
Paul R. Berntson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Dale R. Borneman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Robert F. Brown, Jr.

05-31-2018Obituaries
Norman Buhrandt

05-31-2018Obituaries
Roberta C. Couillard

05-31-2018Obituaries
Richard Deschaine

05-31-2018Obituaries
Karen and Dennis Fry

05-31-2018Obituaries
Raymond A. Gorman

05-31-2018Obituaries
Glenn G. Harris

05-31-2018Obituaries
Charles W. Hatton 

05-31-2018Obituaries
Stella M. Horvath

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patricia A. Johnston

05-31-2018Obituaries
Sandra S. Kasik

05-31-2018Obituaries
Carol L. Klein

05-31-2018Obituaries
Arlie K. Manning

05-31-2018Obituaries
Patrice L. Messenger

05-31-2018Obituaries
Laurie Nicklaus

05-31-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Rita Peterson

05-31-2018Obituaries
Jacqueline Rudolph

05-31-2018Obituaries
Gertrude Tetzlaff

05-31-2018Obituaries
William M. Thierling

05-31-2018Obituaries
Joy M. Van Hecke

05-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel D. VanHoff

05-31-2018Obituaries
Ramon G. Varrientos

05-31-2018Obituaries
Leonard J. Williams

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Seven Red Cross Scholarship Winners

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
 Wausuakee Lions Big Cash Raffle

05-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
WBA Farmers Market New Location This Year

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Sports Awards Winners At Crivitz High School

05-31-2018
NE WI Kids Fishing Outing July 7 at Laona

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Lions Golf Scramble at Crivitz June 2nd

05-31-2018Community - Crivitz
De Smidt's Awards Four Scholarships

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board June 4

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
4th Annual Craft, Vendor Fair at Equity Park June 16

05-31-2018Community - Coleman
Pound Fire Dept. Picnic July 15-16


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you think the Green Bay Packers will make it to the Super Bowl this year.
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
© 2000-2018
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites