MARINETTE — One of Mayor Steve Genisot’s focuses during his 2019 State of the City speech on Tuesday was the progress happening at Menekaunee Harbor Park and boat launch. The mayor dedicated a section of his speech to the work happening at the harbor and the importance the new park plays in making Marinette a fishing destination. 

“In this past year, with grant assistance and with assistance from City of Marinette TIF (tax incremental finance) District 3, the city continued to make improvements to our beautiful Menekaunee Harbor Park and Boat Launch,” Genisot said in his speech. “We added additional transient dockage to accommodate larger boats and were able to construct pavilions on both the north and south sides of the harbor. We are currently working on a walking bridge to connect the north and south sides of the harbor which should be completed by June 2019.

“As a result of the great fishing in our waters, the harbor improvements and accommodating facilities, several national fishing organizations have been requesting Marinette as the site for fishing events, including, again, the Cabela’s National Walleye Tour, adding an Angler’s Insight Marketing (AIM) Wisconsin Walleye Qualifier and Tournament Championship along with the Green Bay Walleye Series Tournament. Additionally, the city will be promoting several local and possibly statewide fishing tournaments this summer.” 

After the State of the City speech, Genisot invited Ward 1 Alderman Ken Keller to give the council a brief update on the status of the statues the city had purchased for placement in Menekaunee Harbor Park. Keller and Public Works Director Brian Miller presented council members with a map of where three of the four statues would be placed, as well as photos of the four statues in various stages of progress. The four fiberglass statues are the ancestral bear of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, which will be placed by the large pavilion and boat launch on the north side of the harbor; a statue of a commercial fisherman, which will be installed on a dais at an intersection of walking paths on the north side of the harbor; a statue of a sturgeon, which will be placed on the south side of the harbor near Ogden Street; and a mobile walleye statue, which has no permanent installation site planned. 

Keller pointed out that the approximately 12-foot-tall ancestral bear statue is still in the process of being sculpted, but progress photos had been sent to the Menominee tribal leadership and had received approval. 

“They were very pleased and thankful for that,” he said. 

The other three statues are in various stages of painting. Keller said the statues will not be able to be placed in Menekaunee Harbor until the weather warms up, and they may be placed temporarily in the Community REC Center until they are able to be permanently installed.