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Marinette Committee Hears Report On Rec Center Use

Issue Date: August 25, 2021

Three committee meetings were held at the City of Marinette on Monday, Aug. 16, starting with Parks and Recreation, followed by Civic Affairs and then Public Safety and Code Enforcement.

At the Parks and Rec meeting, Marinette REC Center Executive Director Gavin Scray provided updated past and upcoming events being held at the REC Center. Past events included July 16 the Bob and Rocco Gun Show, July 18 AIM Fishing State Qualifier, July 22 All American circus, July 24 Outdoor Flea Market Aug. 3 National Night Out, Aug. 4 MPA Convoy, Aug. 20 Kids Day in Marinette and Aug. 20 - 22 and M&M Shamrocks Summer Slam Hockey Tournament.

Upcoming events include the AIM Fishing State Championship, Aug 27 - 28, Green Bay Gamblers Exhibition Game, Sept. 18, Let's Be Frank - Franks Family Feud, Oct. 15 and Antique and Flea Market and War in the Woods Boxing event both on Oct. 16.

Alderman Rick Polzin asked what activities are planned for November and December, Scray replied, "There will be more gun shows, Hockey Association events and Tournaments and the annual Colossal Fossils will be coming up soon. There will also be Christmas in December, the Holiday Art Fair and a variety of other things".

The REC Center has steady ice rink usage, Fall Hockey league will be starting up, Summer Camp is winding down and the Hockey Association contract negotiations are underway.

At the Civic Center, the Bathrooms for pickle ball courts are in operation, Higley Park conceptual planning is underway and there was vandalism at Higley. The Tot Lot Building will be demolished and the skate park sanding and painting will be completed this Fall.

The Campgrounds and Pavilions have shown a steady influx of rentals, however, there were some issues with tent sites of leaving garbage and a security deposit is now being implemented.

Recreation superintendent Adrienne Lacy announced that Summer Day Camp is in its final weeks and they are finishing the summer strong.

Upcoming programs include Sporties For Shorties and Flag Football sign-ups started on Aug. 1 for the Fall Season. Kid's day was held on Aug. 20. A Babysitter Training Course will be held in September - October and the Bend and Stretch program will be returning on Aug. 23.

In his monthly Parks report, Superintendent Patrick Carlson advised: The 6th Street boat launch ramp was retrofitted with adjustable legs to accommodate different water heights and was put back into service; A new wood fence was installed at Higley Park; Trees and rocks were removed from the Red Arrow Park Beach and a portion of the Texas weights wall were relocated to the boat launch side of the park; Red Arrow Park parking lot lines were repainted and the two diver statue was missing one of the divers from the high water in 2020, but was put back on the rock at Stephenson Island Park.

Scray then introduced Director Shawn Katzbeck as the new Marketing and Tourism Director. Katzbeck stated, "I lived here for 30 years. I originally worked in manufacturing companies, working at Marinette Marine, Enstrom and Capitol Fixtures. I then got into Radio in the early 90's and been in radio ever since. I had a lot of opportunities to work with many businesses".

Katzbeck added, "This is my dream job and gives me the opportunity to give back to my community along with giving me a passion that fills my dream, which is Marketing".

Vice President of the Hockey Association, Jennifer Perkett then shared information on the Hockey game between the Green Bay Gamblers versus the Madison Capitols Exhibition Game being held on Saturday, Sept 18 starting at 7:05 p.m. at the Marinette REC Center. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $27 for the Party Zone, which includes free beer during the game All proceeds will go to the Youth Hockey Association.

The Association is responsible for paying for bus transportation for the Gamblers, referee fees and provide post game meals. The Association will be working on getting donations to cover the costs. Historically with this event, everything has been donated. Lee's Foods of Peshtigo is donating the desserts.

The Gamblers will be bringing 500 pucks for attendees to get a â€Chuck A Puck" at intermission to â€chuck†the puck over the net for a chance to win a gift certificate. There will also be raffle baskets and items, 50/50 ticket sales, concessions and Gambler merchandise available for sale.

The capacity is 600 and there will be 500 general admission tickets available along with 100 for the Party Zone. Approximately 400 tickets have already been sold. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Marinette & Menominee Area Youth Hockey Association on Facebook, visit the website: www.mmthunder.org or call the REC Center.

Part of the Master Plan for the Higley Field area is demolition of the historic Higley Field building that was used as the Tot Lot Building for many years for children of the Marinette area with many memories being made there. However, the costs for manpower and materials to repair the building would far outweigh the cost of demolishing the building. There would be savings in demolition of the building versus repairing it. The Committee will be soliciting for bids for removal of the building and once the best quote is chosen a timeline will be established. No funds will be used for demolition of the building. Fire Chief Jay Heckel asked once a contractor is chosen, if there would be any possibility to use the building for ventilation and search training for the Fire Department. The Committee will get an update on all and bring it forward to the September meeting.

In the Civic Affairs, Cemetery, Traffic and Lights Committee meeting, Alderperson Liz Mikutowski voiced her concerns saying "With illicit behaviors sometimes happening in the Red Arrow Park area and surrounding neighborhoods, there is a lack of lighting in that area. She stated there are no lights on some of the bends of the roads, lighting should be 30 to 60 feet apart and in some instances are 164 feet apart and some of the lights are not working. City Engineer Brian Miller stated, "We can add lights and coordinate wherever you want them installed".

Alderman Doug Oitzinger advised, â€I would focus on a light or two at Leonard Street and then Bird Street as it gives more lighting to the boat launch and parking lot. Those would be the potential areas of concern. Members of the committee should go view the area, see what you think and bring this back to the next committee meeting".

Miller gave an update on the Canadian National Railroad crossings that are being rebuilt in the area. The Cleveland Avenue crossing was completed the week of Aug. 16 and the Carney Avenue crossing was completed the week of Aug. 23. The Roosevelt Road section will be worked on the week of Aug. 30. There will be other crossings to be completed within the next two years with one of them being the Riverside Avenue crossing.

Alderperson Jason Flatt voiced his disappointment of how the detour of Hattie Street and Riverside intersection was handled. The intersection was not safe with only a garbage bag over the stop signs on both sides of Hattie Street and no other indication to the traffic on Riverside that the Hattie Street traffic doesn't stop. Flatt sent three emails of his concerns as he also witnessed an accident and received no reply. It was very unsafe. Oitzinger echoed the same saying he also received complaints and stated message boards should have been put up reflecting that Hattie Street traffic does not stop. He agreed that it was poorly done.

Oitzinger also noted an observation that the timbers between the tracks on Hall Avenue detach from the ties when cars pass over the crossing and also the crossing is raised up. Miller commented he would talk to the Railroad to see what they can do.

A request was received from Main Street Barber Shop to add two hour parking on the corner of Main Street and Stanton Street, due to difficulty of elderly clients trying to enter the building with traffic from Marinette Marine. Mayor Steve Genisot also mentioned he received complaints from Restaurants, the Print Shop, Ironworks and other businesses in the area as well about the lack of parking for their businesses.

Oitzinger said, "I know there will be significant parking in a few months with the Ansul parking area opening up, but for the time being, I am comfortable with doing this corner until we see what happens after the Ansul lot opens up". The request was then honored by the committee.

The pedestrian crossing in the roadway at County T was re-addressed. Polzin said there has been an issue with pedestrians walking from the apartments on County T and to the Mall or the Holiday Gas Station. Recently they have taken been walking down the center of the road at night and are not very visible. My suggestion is to provide some sort of pathway on each side of the road down to just south of West Cleveland Avenue and provide a crossway that is lighted with an illuminated pedestrian sign. Its a bad situation and needs to be looked at. The issue is both for getting to the gas station and the Mall but what I am talking about this time is just to get to Holiday, but there is a larger issue on crossing US 41.

Miller added, "We spent a fair amount of time reviewing this in the past and it was very costly and didn't make the budget". Oitzinger added, "If we are talking about a large amount of money I think it would make more sense to us to be looking at a multi use trail off County T that can be used for both bicyclists and pedestrians and be part of a larger plan to run the length of County T from Hwy 64 to Why 41 and see what kind of grant money we can get to build a 10 ft wide minimum trail similar to the trail that is by Hattie Street and Ella Court. A multi use trail, there is funding for that, and can be justified a little easier to get a grant. It doesn't get you across Hwy 41, but will make it easier to get to Holiday".

A further brief discussion was had that if crossing Hwy 41, to make it safe, there would be a need of an elevated crossover at the Highway 41, County T intersection.

The committee was at a standstill of where to go next with the recommendation. Alderperson At Large Dorothy Kowalski then made a suggestion that she will pursue the options and discuss her findings at the next meeting and go from there.

Items for the next agenda include: Redistricting and figuring out Ward lines before December 1, that Clerk Lana Bero is working on currently with the County; Pedestrian crossing traffic on County T and Hwy 41; Lighting at Red Arrow Park area and further updates on Railroad Crossings.

The final committee meeting was the Public Safety and Code Enforcement starting with a brief discussion about the amount of hours spent on issuing parking tickets. From January 2021 through June 2021 there were 69 hours of manpower used on issuing tickets. Of 457 total tickets issued, 401 were Marine tickets, which refer to all parking tickets in the Marinette Marine area and Marinette Marine overflow street parking violations. It was suggested to track to see what the trend is and re-address at a future meeting.

Police Chief John LaCombe then announced their three new Police Officers including Peshtigo native Adam Hynnek who is finishing field training and was an engineer prior to entering Law Enforcement, Maxx Neumann also a Peshtigo native, he formerly worked at the Markesan Police Department and Crivitz native Parker De Los Santos who worked for the Oshkosh Police Department for three years. LaCombe stated, "It is pretty rare to get officers with experience".

Fire Chief Jay Heckel was proud to announce the Fire Department raised $30,000 for the Fill The Boot fundraiser. Local restaurants and a businesses also put boots out on given days and also shared some of the revenue received with the department. Heckel said, "The generosity in this area never ceases to amaze me". Mikutowski commented "This has a lot to do with who you and your department crew members are. This Community takes ownership because people love and respect the Fire Department and Crew Members. I have heard a lot of good comments about the Department.

With the Departments rescue boat damaged beyond repair it left them searching and fundraising for a replacement boat. All the boats have their plusses and minuses but the 1000 Island Boat has more on the plus side and it was highly recommended by Heckel. The vendor is willing to work with us, the warranties are very similar with a one year warranty but they have been working with us so maybe we can get it extended.

The fundraising is on going to offset the cost. We have contacted area businesses and there are a few places that haven't gotten back to us yet, but hopefully will be hearing from them soon. The total amount raised to date is $72,390, leaving an unmet need of $163,610 left for fundraising efforts.

Mikutowski said, â€I talked to Animal Control Officer Mary Cherry in June and in looking at the report I am impressed by the number of complaints of vehicles in yards, debris in yards and lawnmowing and what really impresses me is that they are all resolved by Officer Cherry without any further City interaction.


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