Agreement approved for tubing business

Business will operate on city-owned park land

Shawano residents and tourists will have a tubing and rafting venue on the Wolf River starting next year.

The Shawano Common Council approved an agreement Wednesday allowing the enterprise to operate on city-owned park land.

Under the agreement, business owner Jeff Kammerer would run the operation from 1013 S. Water St., just north of the Community Gardens at Lieg Avenue and Water Street, in exchange for a $500 a month payment to the city.

The agreement is good for five years, after which it will be reviewed by the city.

Kammerer plans to build a storage building to house the tubes and conduct his tubing rental business.

Kammerer will also provide a dock/launching platform for use by his customers and by the general public.

Though the proposed business had drawn opposition from neighbors at previous meetings, there was no one at Wednesday’s council meeting to speak against it.

Alderman Bob Kurkiewicz said that was largely due to expectations among neighbors that parking concerns had been resolved.

However, some clarification was still needed about where the off-street parking will be located.

Kurkiewicz said there was an understanding that parking would be located on the west end of the community gardens, utilizing two underused garden plots.

“Because of those trees there and because of that lower land that’s oftentimes not suitable for gardening,” he said.

Public Works Coordinator Eddie Sheppard said the intent was to minimize or prevent on-street parking, particularly on Water Street, but also on Wescott Avenue to the north of the business.

In addition to the community gardens, potential parking spaces were designated on the park property and off of the street on the south side of Wescott Avenue.

Potential additional parking was also identified on the north side should the business grow to the point where it’s needed, but would also be off the street. There would be no parallel parking on the street under the plan.

Sheppard said the two community gardens plots could accommodate 16 parking stalls, and the off-the-street parking on the south side of Wescott Avenue could accommodate another 11.

“So that was the mix-and-match showing we can easily get 26, 27 cars over there, without any of it having to spill over into the rest of the neighborhood or wouldn’t be covered up by the wooded area,” he said.

Sheppard said, however, that community gardens representatives were interested in keeping the two under-utilized garden plots, making off-street parking spaces on the north side of Wescott Avenue a possible alternative but not something being considered at this point.

“At this point, it’s kind of up the in the air, it’s just that there is room out there for parking,” he said.

Sheppard said Kammerer has offered to pay for the improvements necessary for the new off-street parking spaces.

Kammerer’s business plans to operate from two weeks before Memorial Day through two weeks after Labor Day.