An advocacy group for water quality issues wants Marinette County to send a message to Madison that more needs to be done to protect water resources locally and across the state. The River Alliance of Wisconsin has prompted Marinette County to join the Clean Water Now campaign, a movement they’re spearheading to get counties to consider an advisory referendum that would demand the state address critical water issues. The Development Committee considered that invitation at a meeting held this week. 2019 was declared the Year of Clean Drinking Water by Governor Tony Evers, but Supervisor Tom Mandli says efforts by a designated Water Quality Task Force that traveled throughout Wisconsin last year garnered few tangible results.

While the committee agreed with the sentiment behind the effort, many questioned whether placing a referendum on the April ballot asking voters if they supported clean water would be effective or appropriate. Supervisor Bob Holley said he wouldn’t support drafting a referendum, but he might be in favor of a resolution by the County Board that would prompt the state to act.

Mandli moved to begin the process to draw up an advisory referendum question to go to voters in April, but that motion died for lack of a second. The Development Committee may instead consider a resolution on the matter at their meeting in January.