City may revamp major event scheduling policy

MARQUETTE – At a regular meeting tonight, the Marquette City Commission will discuss changing the way the city schedules major events to be held in city parks.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the commission chambers of city hall.

Under a proposed policy, individuals, organizations and community groups with a “proven history of successfully providing annual high impact events benefiting tourism, economic development, or other community development objectives” would have the opportunity to reserve city parks for multiple years.

Currently, parks can only be reserved for the current year.

The proposed policy states that the parks most appropriate for high-impact events are Mattson Lower Harbor Park, Presque Isle Park, Shiras Park and Tourist Park.

High-impact events are defined as those expected to draw more than 250 people; those held for commercial, nonprofit or for-profit benefit; or those that include significant infrastructure, such as the set up of large tents, stages, amusements or concessions.

In other action, the commission will consider awarding a bid for a West Washington Street construction project. The project, which will include streetscaping, construction of access points, traffic signal upgrades and pavement markings, is the public portion of the nearby brownfield project, the Veridea Group’s Liberty Way development. That development, intended to be a three- and four-story complex with an indoor atrium and underground parking structure, is sited along Washington Street, immediately south of the Lincoln Avenue intersection.

The project would be funded through bonds issued by the Marquette Brownfield Redevelopment Authority. Revenues captured through an established brownfield tax increment financing district will be used to repay the bonds.

Additionally, the city commission will consider a proposal to hire a firm to conduct a community planning process for an arts and culture master plan. The intent, according to city officials, is to provide the city with a 10-year strategic plan defining the city’s role in supporting arts and culture, as well as the role of arts and culture in accomplishing the city’s broader goals.

The city commission previously budgeted $15,000 for the creation of the plan.

Kyle Whitney can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.