What’s going on in city hall
Finance committee approves PRAT referendum, Heal Creek deal moves forward and money set aside for new city website
By Jared Raney
A referendum for the Premiere Resort Area Tax (PRAT) will appear on the April 4 voting ballot, pending full council approval.
The City of Rhinelander Finance, Wage and Salary Committee met Tuesday to finalize the 2016 budget for next week’s City Council meeting, as well as approve the resolution for the PRAT, discuss the Heal Creek Purchase and approve a loan for the downtown sewer project in the amount of $2.1 million.
The PRAT referendum will be a vote to levy a .5 percent sales tax on tourist-related retailers for transportation-related infrastructure expenses. In a presentation last Spring, former administrator Blaine Oborn said during a presentation of the PRAT last spring that the tax would produce approximately $400,000 a year to apply toward fixing city roads.
Committee members approved the referendum unanimously.
The deeds for the Heal Creek property agreement are in place, and waiting to be signed, according to city administrator Kristina Aschenbrenner. Committee members approved moving forward with the purchase agreement, which is a cooperative effort between the city and the Hodag Sports Club to create a four-season outdoor recreational facility.
As part of the final 2016 budget discussions, alderman Alex Young made a recommendation to set aside approximately $10,000 for a potential city website renovation. The motion came after discussion about automating certain city functions like park permits, and was approved unanimously.