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Lake district seeks free meeting space from city

Clintonville City Council debates waiving rental fee

By Bert Lehman

The Clintonville City Council did not act on the Pigeon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District’s request for free meeting space at the Clintonville Community Center.

When waiving the city’s rental fee was presented for discussion at the council’s May 14 meeting, Alderman Jim Supanich said the district had originally planned to meet at the Clintonville Community Center for three months because of problems reserving space at its normal meeting place, Fox Valley Technical College.

“That seemed like a reasonable thought,” Supanich said.

He added the district now would like to meet at the Clintonville Community Center on a permanent basis and have the rental fee waived.

“I think we have to do what we can to support the district,” Supanich said. “I think its in the benefit of both the city and the district to make the pond the best it can be. But I do have some concerns about making it 12 months because we already have a problem with some of the residents thinking the district is actually the city, and that’s not the case.”

Attorney Keith Steckbauer speaks to the audience during the Pigeon Lake Protection and Rehabilitation District meeting at Fox Valley Technical College on Nov. 14, 2018. Erik Buchinger file photo

Supanich said the city agreeing to waive rental fees for the district would re-enforce that misconception.

Alderwoman Tammy Strey-Hirt said the district wants to move its meeting location to somewhere walkable to accommodate those who want to attend but lack transportation.

“That idea would maybe bring more people to the meetings,” Strey-Hirt said.

Alderman Brandon Braden asked if the district pays a rental fee to FVTC. Nobody knew.

Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs said waiving the fees would set a precedent.

“We charge everybody for use of city buildings,” Beggs said.

If the city waived the rental fee for the district, Beggs asked how the city could say no to waiving fees for other organizations if they asked.

“I think the precedent is a bad example,” Beggs said.

Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the council the city incurs costs when city facilities are used.

“If we’re not charging anything, that is an expense to the city that isn’t recoverable,” Eveland said.

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