01/08/2020- There was a lot of talking, a little tension, but no decision from Marinette County’s Development Committee on a request from the City of Marinette for some additional tourism promotion dollars in 2020. A letter was sent from the City’s Tourism Committee to County Administrator John Lefebvre and the County Board asking for funding for the purpose of marking the City’s tourism assets in an amount equal to what was paid to the City under the 2019 co-op marketing agreement. That contract expired December 31st and had the County contributing up to $125000 for tourism promotion. The City’s Tourism Committee justified the request by pointing out that the City accounts for a large portion of the county’s sales tax, but under the County’s new tourism structure to market only county-owned assets, the City will see little to no representation. County Board Chairman Mark Anderson says he was initially opposed, but he’s come around to seeing it from the City’s point of view.
County Administrator John Lefebvre says the county will work with individual municipalities on joint marketing efforts for specific projects, but the county’s sales tax is already earmarked for debt repayment and he doesn’t feel the County can just go divvying money out haphazardly.
The Development Committee first attempted to forward the topic on to the Administrative Committee with no recommendation- a motion which failed on a two-to-five vote. The Committee did successfully pass the item along to the full County Board who will take up the request at their meeting next week.