Hobart 86s village events for private businesses
By Ben Rodgers
HOBART – The Village of Hobart has no immediate plans to start using taxpayer money to fund village events where private businesses can profit.
At the Tuesday, Jan. 7, village board meeting, Trustee Debbie Schumacher asked the board about paying for a band for an event so the Green Bay Food Truck Coalition could set up shop this summer and sell consumables to village residents, like it has in past summers.
This would be the only food truck rally of the summer for Hobart and would be held in late July in Centennial Centre.
Schumacher said the food trucks will only come if there is a band to attract more people to the event.
She said the cost for the band, along with tables and chairs for people, would be close to $3,000.
“The only (issue) we need to discuss is simply the precedent of spending money for the profit line of a private entity, which we’ve never done before,” said Village President Rich Heidel.
Schumacher said the event would be a village event with private businesses and could be used as a marketing tool for northern Hobart.
Mary Smith, clerk/treasurer, told the board she reached out to other communities which hold similar events.
She said they hold those events through separate organizations, like local chambers of commerce.
“They will not spend taxpayer funds on anything that is not a village event, period,” Smith said.
Village Administrator Aaron Kramer said the village would need to write a policy so it has language to turn to in the event something like this comes up again.
“What I am supposed to say, when someone comes in here and has a special event and says ‘We’d like the village to sponsor this,’ ‘but you did,’ and they can point (to this example)?” Kramer said.
Heidel said the village is open to such events in the future, but sponsorship will likely be needed, as well as more research.
“I would advise the staff to go no further than this, other to research more the Village of Howard,” he said. ‘If there is a reasonable avenue they use, maybe we can consider this more furtherly.”
In other news, the village board approved a bid from Spectrum for an upgrade to fiber optic internet.
The upgrade includes download and upload speeds for 50 mbps and will cost the village an additional $4,200 a year. The deal is for five years.
Erica Berger, deputy clerk/treasurer, said the main selling point is if anything were to happen to the service, Spectrum would repair it in four hours.
“This building doesn’t shut down at 5 p.m. and the staff goes home,” Kramer said “This is a 24-hour police department as well. We have to have the guarantee.”
He said the funds will come from the contingency fund this year and be built into the budget for the following years.
Finally, the village board agreed to not support the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Study being spearheaded by Brown County for a southern De Pere Bridge.
Heidel said he stopped attending meetings on the southern bridge about three years ago, because Hobart has its own interchange project to worry about now.
“I did not want to unfairly and unnecessarily spin up people’s expectations that Hobart was somehow, some way going to subsidize this southern bridge project,” he said. “Any benefit coming to us is marginal at best. Nothing like what’s at stake for the City of De Pere, for example.”