Marquette City Council, businesses meet

 

By Audrey Posten

 

The Marquette City Council held a special meeting Aug. 27 in an effort to both clear the air and also address public questions and concerns regarding the city’s decision to cease funding the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce.

 

“We’re all here for the same thing, and that’s to promote the businesses in Marquette,” said Mayor Norma Mason, addressing the crowd of roughly 20 people at the start of the meeting.

 

In order to accommodate the larger crowd, and also to deliver a Power Point presentation, the meeting was held in the city’s community room.

 

The meeting began with a three-part city presentation that answered questions posed by some Marquette business owners at the Aug. 13 city council meeting.

 

When asked why the businesses were not informed of the council’s decision to stop funding the chamber, the council cited four different meetings, all within the last year, when the topic was an agenda item.

 

When asked why the businesses were not asked for their opinion on the chamber’s level of effectiveness, the city responded that the businesses are paying members of the chamber, so the city’s decision should have no effect on their membership.

 

At the previous council meeting, the business owners also asked how much the hotel/motel tax was, along with how that would be spent. According to the city, the amount is approximately $15,000, and will be spent per ordinance number 359, which says, “At least 50 percent derived for the hotel/motel tax will be spent for—including, but not limited to—memorial buildings, halls, civic centers and parking areas.”

 

In response to concerns about a lack of parking in Marquette when the Cobblestone Inn and Suites was built, the city constructed the $60,000 Edgar Street parking lot, which was partially funded through the hotel/motel tax.

 

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