6-Town Board Meeting
Wednesday. August 24th, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
Lazansky Community Center, Mountain
Present: Town of Mountain: Hull, Wirth & Uecke; Breed: Zimmerman & Firgens; Doty: Hansen; Lakewood: absent; Riverview: Hogan, Trosch, Donnick, Hansen & Zittlow; Townsend: Rapp,Karow & Dutton; & Special Guest Bruce Mommaerts, Executive Director of Oconto County Economic Development Corporation.
Meeting opened by Chairman Hull.
Agenda approved with motion from P. Hansen/Trosch 2nd/unanimously carried.
Minutes approved with motion from Rapp/2nd Zimmerman/unanimously carried.
Mommaerts provided handouts and discussed the importance o promoting tourism for the survival of our rural towns, villages,and cities in Oconto County. Graphs were reviewed showing the correlation between tourism expenditures and sales tax collected. For the years 2006 thru 2010, the collection of sales tax decreased by $650,122. We must reverse this trend. If we reverse the trend, we must address the fact that lodging availability will not meet the needs of increased tourism. Mommaerts then went on to talk about a county-wide room tax. If implemented, a percentage of this revenue would be earmarked for marketing. We might even join efforts county-wide to share the cost of informational centers. We have learned that our billboard promotion has generated increased webpage hits.
From this presentation, a discussion ensued about transient housing—people renting out their cabins to tourists creating noise and boating problems for the lake and other property owners. Other problems of transient housing: lost revenue to the IRS as income is not reported; safety issues when there are no checks for water quality, septic capacity, smoke alarms, occupancy capacity etc.; lost lodging bookings to businesses; and fairness to business owners who comply with all regulations. The Towns of Doty and Riverview will supply names and addresses of offenders. The Town of Riverview will send a representative to the County Zoning and Planning Committee meeting to discuss these problems.
Hogan to email OCEDC that the 6 Towns support the Oconto County marketing program and wish to participate financially in the promotion of northern Oconto County tourism—P. Hansen/2nd Paal Hansen/unanimously carried.
Pam Bursek is appointed secretary to the 6 Towns—P. Hansen/ 2nd Uecke/unanimously carried.
Next meeting: Town of Breed, Wednesday, October 19th, 6:30 p.m. (bring on the pig!)
Meeting adjourned 7:45 p.m.—Hogan/Trosch/carried.
Minutes prepared by: Ann Hogan