No Decision Yet on Which Direction County Will Take With Economic Development and Tourism Administration

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11/14/2019- Marinette County Supervisors agree that there’s a need to foster economic and community development locally, but just how they plan on doing that isn’t as clear. After receiving an updated report from Bay Lakes Regional Planning on the assessment of economic development in Marinette County, Supervisors debated which of the six models of administration might best fit the County’s needs and how to move from discussion to action. While the study by Bay Lakes and the corresponding recommendation from a third-party consultant to contract with inVenture North was intended to provide some sort of guidance on this, Supervisor Gilbert Engel says he wants to see more hard data to support any of the examples.
“It’s really not a very useful report because it really doesn’t give us clear data to compare. It just says that they’re successful.”
Despite the recommendation for external administration, there’s been a renewed push to create an internal county department for tourism and economic development. Supervisor Ginger Deschane isn’t sold on the idea and wants to see formal proposals from outside agencies better versed in this type of work.
“Last spring this administration couldn’t figure out what steps to take next as far as economic development and tourism, so Bay Lakes was tasked with the study to come up with options. Now that the study’s done, several people want to throw it out and do their own thing…I strongly urge this body to pursue the suggestions in this study and ask for proposals from (anyone else) who is interested in tourism. We owe it to the people of this county to look out for their best interest and follow up on the study.”
The County Board took no action on the topic Tuesday. The item is being sent back to the Development Committee for further discussion in December.

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