EagleHerald Editor

MARINETTE—The City of Marinette is seeking more citizen input on its comprehensive plan, which is soon due for a 20-year update.

Mayor Steve Genisot brought up the matter during his report Tuesday at the Common Council meeting.

“We do revisions on a more frequent basis, but right now we are in a complete renewal of our comp plan,” he said. “We’ve had some discussions with the folks at Bay Lakes (Regional Planning Commission). We would like to have more citizen input.”

Genisot said more focus and clarification are needed on some key areas of the city, mentioning the downtown and the area by the former Bay Area Medical Center on Shore Drive.

Alderman Doug Oitzinger offered input.

“I’m the only one on the council that was involved in the last comprehensive plan,” he said. “That was a two-year process and I’m concerned that we are running out of time.”

He said the city has a contract with Bay Lakes for $45,000 and the work has to be completed by June 20.

Oitzinger said he is concerned the matter is not being handled in detail and is lacking citizen input.

“I think the mayor is engaged in conversation with Bay Lakes to see if they can’t up their game a bit,” he said, asking Genisot, “Would that be a fair statement?”

“I think so,” the mayor replied, adding that less in-person meetings because of the COVID-19 pandemic have made for a challenge.

Alderman Jeff Skorik, a member of the Planning Commission, said that group has reviewed the work done by Bay Lakes so far and he would encourage people to voice their opinions.

He said there was a survey available for residents, but he’s not sure the results were representative of the entire city.

“I think it’s really important to get a broad spectrum of people’s opinions,” he said, pointing out that there were some specific areas of concern identified.

“I’m concerned that when you have a limited number of people (giving) input, that it can sometimes over emphasize areas that may not be generally meaningful for the rest of the community,” Skorik said. “I would just echo that I think it’s important that we get as many people to give input so that we can come up with a plan that will work for everyone.”

Genisot said the focus needs to dig deeper and include areas such as economic development, housing, grocery stores, biking, walking trails, transportation, city services (and more).”

Oitzinger said that 84 people filled out the most recent survey, while 648 people completed the survey 20 years ago.

“We hired professionals to do this,” Genisot said. “We will call on them to do this, dig a little deeper.”

In other matters,

  • Marketing and Tourism Director Melissa Ebsch said more than 4,000 people attended the Fishing Boating Outdoors Show Feb. 19-21 and more than 250 people were in attendance for the Let Us Be Frank production of “Menoma Mia” on Feb. 27.

“This is a huge accomplishment for the REC Center and it really shows what we are capable of doing there as well,” Ebsch of the outdoor event.

  • Genisot said a board game—“Marinette-opoly”—is available at Walmart. He said there was another version in 1983, but the updated game just came out this week.
  • The April council meeting will take place April 13 rather than April 6 because of the spring election.