DIXON – A recommendation was presented to the City Council to get rid of the Riverfront Commission as the city knows it.
The Dixon City Council was asked Monday to merge the Riverfront Commission with Dixon Main Street under the guidance of the new city administrator, who is expected to be hired as early as next month.
The recommendation, among others, came from a three-person committee charged with studying Dixon Tourism, Dixon Main Street and the Riverfront Commission that was led by Police Chief Danny Langloss, special assistant to the council.
No action was taken, but further discussion is expected in upcoming meetings, Langloss said. Mayor Jim Burke suggested waiting until a city administrator is hired.
"Both groups are in agreement with this recommendation," Langloss said Monday.
It recommends the Riverfront Commission have two committees within Main Street's organization, reporting back to Main Street's board, Langloss said. It is not clear just yet how the committees would be appointed, he said.
One committee would focus on the Riverfront vision, strategic planning and fundraising, and the other on properties. Subcommittees could be created as needed.
The Riverfront executive director position, now held by Kay Miller, would be eliminated, and her pay available for Main Street's board to decide if a position is needed, Langloss said.
Miller is working without a contract for $200 a month; the City Council voted 4-1 in November against increasing her pay to $800 a month.
Maintenance Director John Groshans would remain as an employee of Main Street and retain his regular duties, according to the recommendation.
"The city will need to create a plan to take over maintenance of the Heritage Crossing within the next 12 months," Langloss said.
Main Street would be responsible for all aspects of renting Heritage Crossing and Dixon Tourism would support these efforts by using its Welcome Center, 106 W. River St., as the public's first point of contact for rentals.
Along with the merger request, the committee called for the creation of a community development board, which would work to maximize resources in community projects.
It should include two members from the newly formed Main Street board; two members from Dixon Tourism board; Main Street Executive Director Josh Albrecht; one member from the Dixon Chamber of Commerce board; one member from Lee County Industrial Development Association; one member from the Lee County Tourism Board; and one at-large member who has expertise in the field.
The city administrator should head this board, because the city has a considerable monetary commitment to these organizations, Langloss said.
The Welcome Center would be run by Dixon Tourism at its current location until a point where a larger downtown location becomes available for all three organizations to work together under one roof, possibly along with the Dixon Chamber of Commerce.
Dixon Tourism was asked to expand its mission, which is to promote events for overnight guests, to bringing visitors to the city for any and all events.
"Our study showed the majority of hotel occupancy is from local corporations and construction," Langloss said of Dixon Tourism, which is funded by hotel tax. "There is an increase in occupancy during the summer months and over weekends. This is primarily due to weddings and class reunions."
Other recommendations were for Dixon Tourism to expand communication to Lee County Tourism to avoid redundant advertising, retaining the names of Dixon Tourism and Dixon Main Street if a merger between the two happens and the City Council looking at funding levels for Dixon's Community Grant Program, which gives out $22,500 to organizations within the city.
An 8-page report with more details will be made available to the council and the media, Langloss said.
The committee members were Langloss, business development specialist Chris Blumhoff, and David Schreiner, CEO of KSB Hospital.