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Common Council extends marina lease through 2024

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By Steve Van Kooten

 

The Prairie du Chien Common Council met in the Council Chambers on Jan. 16 in midst of a cold snap that froze much of Prairie du Chien to a halt.

Present were alderpersons Pam Kiesau, Kayla Ingham, Kelssi Ziegler, Nick Crary, Nate Bremmer and Jarren Riebe. David Hemmer, Mayor; Kyle Teynor, Police Chief; Tina Fuller, City Treasurer and Clerk; Amanda Tisdale, City Attorney; and Nate Gilberts, City Planner, were also present for the meeting. Vicki Waller, Carlos Cantero and Chad Abram were absent.

The agenda was pared down to one issue: consideration for the renewal of the marina.

The lease, held by Dillman Brothers, LLC, had expired on Dec. 31, 2023, but the lease agreement had an option for Dillman to request a one-time five year extension to the lease.

The initial contract had a $2,000 yearly rent with stipulations for Dillman Brothers to complete before Dec. 31, 2023. The extension would increase the annual rent to $5,000 per year.

Earlier in the evening, the Public Works Committee, along with the City Attorney, had reviewed the lease agreement and possible breaches of the contract between the city and Dillman Brothers. Barron Dillman attended the meeting as a representative of Dillman Brothers, LLC.

Tisdale stated the extension could be granted if there had not been a breach of contract and that the stipulations outlined in Article 3, section 3 of the agreement were fulfilled before the end of the lease.

The section stated Dillman Brothers were required to install electrical services to all docks and slips at the marina. “If Dillman has not installed the electrical services, they are not entitled to the five year extension,” Tisdale said.

“We did install an electrical service at the marina, and it’s not to all of the docks,” Dillman said. “I guess it never made it to all the docks because there wasn’t a need.” He noted most of the tenants for the marina operated pontoon boats and did not require electrical services.

Hemmer stated Abram had suggested a one year extension to the lease agreement with a stipulation to make electrical services available to all docks and slips as written. “If you’ve got it on one, I’m pretty sure people would like it on all of them.”

Dillman said it was possible to provide an electrical service to all docks and slips by Dec. 31, 2024 as outlined in the lease.

Ziegler, Public Works Chair, asked what purpose electrical services would serve if there wasn’t a demand for them. Tisdale stated, in review of the documentation from the negotiations between the city and Dillman Brothers, that the access to electrical services on the docks had been a “major issue” in the original agreement. She said the purpose had been to develop the dock, increase profitability and provide more expansive services to tenants.

Tisdale stated Dillman Brothers had not originally provided a certificate of insurance for the marina but had fulfilled that requirement in the intervening time. A survey of the area also had not been completed.

The Public Works Committee recommended the Common Council extend the Dillman Brothers lease one year with the stipulations for the electrical work to be completed, a survey be completed on the area and all copies of permits and other required paperwork be submitted to the city. All stipulations were detailed in the original lease agreement.

“It’s not like they’ve done nothing,” Ziegler said to the Common Council. “It’s just that there are a few things here and there that need to be completed.”

The Common Council approved the one year extension with the added stipulations.

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