space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* Country Cousin
space
space
Sports Shorts
* Thunder on a Roll; Claim Four More Wins
* Coleman Wins D3 Regional; Advance 12 to Sectional
* Crivitz Takes Half Game Lead Into Final Week
* Bulldog Defense Upsets Clippers
* Bay Area Youth Rugby Expanding

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
02-14-2018Sports
Thunder on a Roll; Claim Four More Wins

02-14-2018Sports
Coleman Wins D3 Regional; Advance 12 to Sectional

02-14-2018Sports
Crivitz Takes Half Game Lead Into Final Week

02-14-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Yunke

02-14-2018Obituaries
Steven C. Wirtz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Robert Stevens

02-14-2018Obituaries
Kent W. Smith

02-14-2018Obituaries
Leo Schmidt

02-14-2018Obituaries
Lorraine T. Saltz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Edward Saltz

02-14-2018Obituaries
Sonja R. Ruechel

02-14-2018Obituaries
Elsward L. Guseck

02-14-2018Obituaries
Magdalen A. Giese

02-14-2018Obituaries
Jon Comeaux

02-14-2018Obituaries
Frances L. Bieber

02-14-2018Obituaries
Arlene J. Borchardt

02-14-2018Obituaries
Jean F. Angus

02-14-2018Obituaries
Henry J.Welsch

02-14-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Lynch

02-14-2018Sports
Bulldog Defense Upsets Clippers

02-14-2018Obituaries
Wayne R. Bender

02-14-2018Obituaries
Dorothy A. Sopkowicz-Tackes

02-14-2018Obituaries
June M. Prefontaine

02-14-2018Obituaries
Joanne Makowiecki

02-14-2018Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Kinsella

02-14-2018Obituaries
Michael J. Homa, Jr.

02-14-2018Obituaries
Douglas G. Elsner

02-14-2018Front Page
Arbor Village, Community Based Facility Now Open In Peshtigo

02-14-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-14-2018Perspectives
From our readers

02-14-2018Perspectives
From My Window

02-14-2018Front Page
County Looks At Abolishing Position of Elected Coroner

02-14-2018Front Page
Neumann Retiring After 32 Years As Track Coach

02-14-2018Front Page
Dept. Of Public Works Lists Equipment Needs

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Lions Club Flower Sale Coming Soon

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
St. Augustine Lenten Fish Fries

02-14-2018Front Page
Voters To Choose Candidates For Supreme Court On Feb. 20

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lion's Club to Host 9-Pin Bowling Tourney

02-14-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Set For February 19th

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Lake Noquebay Fish O Rama Feb. 24

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz To Host 3 on 3 Tournament

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Area Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-14-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Lions Host Wausaukee Lions

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Student Elected Region 3 FBLA Vice President

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Foreigner Tribute Band at Equity Hall Feb. 16-17

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman K.C. Fish Fry Feb. 16

02-14-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman School District Child Development Days

02-07-2018Sports
Bay Area Youth Rugby Expanding

02-07-2018Sports
Frederickson's 3 Pointer Pushes Peshtigo Past Algoma

02-07-2018Sports
Crivitz Keeps One Game Lead; Marinette Upset by Lux-Casco

02-07-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

02-07-2018Perspectives
From our readers

02-07-2018Perspectives
From My Window

02-07-2018Obituaries
James H. Albrecht

02-07-2018Obituaries
Spencer Bichel

02-07-2018Obituaries
Merle D. Bishop

02-07-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Borths

02-07-2018Obituaries
Richard B. Burns

02-07-2018Obituaries
Thomas R. Dasko

02-07-2018Obituaries
Janet E. Dubey

02-07-2018Obituaries
Jody L. Enderby

02-07-2018Obituaries
Betty J. Engler

02-07-2018Obituaries
Dr. Gregory L. Evensen

02-07-2018Obituaries
Alvina B. Foley

02-07-2018Obituaries
Helen M. Lynch

02-07-2018Obituaries
Marie J. Motiff,

02-07-2018Obituaries
Judith A. Ondik

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sue A. Paro

02-07-2018Obituaries
Elmer H. Polzin

02-07-2018Obituaries
Ransom Rhode

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sarah A. Rust

02-07-2018Obituaries
Jeanette M. Snyder

02-07-2018Obituaries
Emmi L. Stratton

02-07-2018Obituaries
Donald Van Pay

02-07-2018Obituaries
Karen E. Bechtold

02-07-2018Obituaries
Floyd B. DeBauch

02-07-2018Obituaries
Dorothy L. Ferguson

02-07-2018Obituaries
Roger G. Gretzon

02-07-2018Obituaries
Sheila K. LaFortune

02-07-2018Obituaries
John E. Lemire

02-07-2018Obituaries
Michael J. Nelson

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Library Holds Fruit Sale

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Lions To Sell Flowers

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
St. Jude Bowl-A-Thon at Wausaukee Feb. 11

02-07-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Jr/Sr High List 2nd Quarter Honor Roll

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Craft-O-Rama at Crivitz Feb. 10

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Legion To Meet Feb. 21

02-07-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz Ares Woman's Club Offers Scholarships

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Utility Board Feb. 12

02-07-2018
Cougar Business Assoc. Annual Dinner Feb. 26th

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Craft Show at Pound Feb. 10

02-07-2018Community - Coleman
Kickers Have Valentine Dance at Equity Hall

02-07-2018Front Page
Best of Cities

02-07-2018Front Page
Gov. Walker Joins Marinette Officials for WMCOE Opening

02-07-2018Front Page
Pound Village Board Hears School Referendum Report

02-07-2018Front Page
Village of Coleman President Praises Public Work Employees

02-07-2018Front Page
Peshtigo School Board Meets Monday, Feb. 12

01-31-2018Sports
UW-Marinette Finishes Busy Week With 2-1 Readout

01-31-2018Sports
Cougars Lead Area Teams at Pulaski Invite

01-31-2018Sports
Crivitz Falls to Oneida; M&O Lead Reduced to one half Game

01-31-2018Perspectives
Country Cousin

01-31-2018Sports
Wolverines Cage Cougars; Take Sole Possession of First

01-31-2018Perspectives
From our readers

01-31-2018Perspectives
From My Window

01-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel Osmon, Sr.

01-31-2018Obituaries
Barbara J. Miller

01-31-2018Obituaries
Muriel R. Lippens

01-31-2018Obituaries
Ervin L. Limberg

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Winners Listed at Silver Cliff Cards

01-31-2018Obituaries
Richard G. Kubichek Sr.

01-31-2018Obituaries
Ken Kowalkowski

01-31-2018Obituaries
Joseph A. Hatfield

01-31-2018Obituaries
Gerald L. Gehling

01-31-2018Obituaries
Virginia M. Diamond

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Blood Drive Set For February 19th

01-31-2018Obituaries
Roseann Darga

01-31-2018Obituaries
Timothy W. Cox

01-31-2018Obituaries
Terrie L. Cornish

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Message Community Church Has Bake Sale, Chili Dump

01-31-2018Obituaries
Connie L. Betzinger

01-31-2018Obituaries
Michael R. Alfredson

01-31-2018Obituaries
Liam M. Zahn

01-31-2018Community - Wausaukee
Marquette University Lists Area Graduates

01-31-2018Obituaries
Arlene J. Wagner

01-31-2018Obituaries
Mattie E. Strauss

01-31-2018Obituaries
Gary Smith

01-31-2018Obituaries
Jody A. Savage

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz School Board Hears State Spend Increase

01-31-2018Obituaries
Roger Lee Rupp

01-31-2018Obituaries
Susan C. Putnam

01-31-2018Obituaries
Daniel M. Payne

01-31-2018Obituaries
Glenn J. Magnin

01-31-2018
Craft-O-Rama at Crivitz Feb. 10

01-31-2018Obituaries
Carroll A. Dumke

01-31-2018Obituaries
Kaleb J. Case

01-31-2018Obituaries
Joyce C. Miller-Cardinal

01-31-2018Obituaries
Nancy A. Benson

01-31-2018Obituaries
Margaret R. Bellow

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Crivitz High School Lists 2nd Quarter Honor Roll

01-31-2018Community - Crivitz
Candlelight Ski, Hike at Thompson Park

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board Meets Feb. 5

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Faith Christian School Lists Honor Roll, Perfect Attendance

01-31-2018Community - Coleman
Faith King is Student of Month

01-31-2018Front Page
Early Morning Fire Destroys Dun-Rite Asphalt Buildings

01-31-2018Front Page
Marinette Marine Seeks County Assist For Contract Opportunity

01-31-2018Front Page
Fire Destroys Old Knitting Mill Building In Marinette

01-31-2018Front Page
County Tourism Promotion Services Remain Unsettled

01-31-2018Front Page
Peshtigo City Council To Meet February 6

01-24-2018Obituaries
Donald J. Bahrke

01-24-2018Obituaries
Floyd C. Beyer


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Should President Trump cut back on the amount of tweets he makes?
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