Promotional agreement with Suamico Paddle approved
By Kevin Boneske
SUAMICO – An agreement to have the village provide promotional services to a private business renting kayaks and paddleboards at Fireman’s Park was approved 5-1 Monday, July 20, by the Suamico village board.
Village Administrator Alex Kaker said the promotional agreement with Suamico Paddle, which will provide the village 15 percent of gross revenue from those rentals, varies from the marketing plan the board tabled two weeks earlier, because it does not include the village producing any hard copy materials, such as pamphlets.
“If Suamico Paddle wants to make those pamphlets, and give them to us to post at our parks, that would still be acceptable through this agreement,” he said. “Primarily, we would be promoting Suamico Paddle through our website and social media, which is nominal cost to us, except for staff time.”
Kaker said Village Attorney Corey Kimps reviewed the one-year agreement drafted for the board’s approval.
Trustee Michelle Eckert said she opposed the village promoting one business over another and cast the lone dissenting vote.
Village President Laura Nelson, who expressed concerns similar to Eckert two weeks earlier, was absent.
Kaker said Suamico Paddle will submit a financial report to the village at the end of the season.
“Honestly, it is an honor system,” he said. “I don’t have their actual database to confirm that those are the numbers, but we have to have some sort of trust in that process.”
Trustee Sky Van Rossum said he supports the agreement as a public-private partnership.
“This is supporting local business – this is supporting business in the TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) area,” he said. “If there are other businesses that are so forward-looking and have ideas, that they would like to partner with the village, I think we should be looking at those, too. This is first the business that’s really come forward with that partnership.”
Van Rossum said the village has done a “huge amount for Vickery Village in terms of putting up signs and other things to support them,” and the agreement with Suamico Paddle is “significantly different” than supporting a national franchise.
“We’re supporting our kayak launch,” he said. “We’re supporting what we have that nobody else has, which is the access to the outdoors. We’re supporting a local business, not a national chain. And if that local business is successful, and continues to pay property taxes and continues to bring people into the community and continues to offer other services, there will be more that will follow.”
Trustee Mike Schneider said he was initially against entering into an agreement with Suamico Paddle for the main reason of the village doing advertising for the business, but the change to not having the village produce any hard copies of promotional materials “sits a lot better because it’s something that we can do for everybody.”
“As long as we’re transparent and we are willing to enter into these types of agreements with any of the businesses within Suamico under the same general umbrella, that I am for, because it only helps businesses grow,” he said.
Trustee Dan Roddan, who chaired the meeting, said it’s important a partnership has no liability for the village.
“I think the indemnification clause covers that,” he said. “If Attorney Kimps feels that that’s a strong enough clause, you know, I’m OK with this agreement.”
Kaker said the agreement runs from July 20 to Nov. 1 because “both parties want to get an understanding of how this is going to work and what kind of impact it’s going to have on their business.”
“(Suamico Paddle was) hesitant to make it a multi-year deal,” he said. “So, we’ll just see how it goes, and if for whatever reason it’s too much work on (Recreation Director Leah Hackmaster’s) part, or just for whatever reason we don’t want to continue it, we’ll have the option to just not renew it next year. And if (Suamico Paddle feels) like if it’s too much money, it doesn’t provide enough of a benefit for them, then maybe they decide they don’t want to renew it.”
Kaker said the one-year agreement with Suamico Paddle is “a very low risk to having this contract or this agreement in place, and we can revisit this in December of this year for next year.”
He said the promotional agreement could bring in revenue for the village to pay for the maintenance of Fireman’s Park, which has a canoe and kayak launch, and also help promote local businesses in Suamico.
The agreement calls for having: social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram; bulk email to active community members; a link to Suamico Paddle on the village’s recreation website; and print media with flyers, as provided by Suamico Paddle, located at all village community parks and shelters.