Skip to Content

Bayfield thinks of new ways to generate lost revenue for the city

Remaining Ad Time Ad - 00:00

BAYFIELD, WI--Small businesses and towns have been hit extremely hard during the pandemic.

The Northwest Wisconsin town of Bayfield is no exception.

Lissa Flemming has always had a passion for making jewelry.

"Nine years ago I jumped ship from other things I was doing. Put my wings on jumped off a cliff and decided to do jewelry full time," said Flemming.

For the last 4 years, Flemming has run Silverwaves Jewelry in Downtown Bayfield smoothly.

But like many others, the pandemic has taken a toll on Flemming's business and passion. She has lost as much as 30% of her business this year.

"I don't think I've ever caught myself up but I've remained even keel. I think I'm going to be O.K. I'm going to make it," said Flemming

However, local businesses in Bayfield are not the only ones struggling. The city is finding itself in a financial challenge as well.

"COVID-19 exacerbated the situation but it did not create the situation," said Bayfield's Mayor Gordon Ringberg

Ringberg said the city has been facing compounding financial shortcomings since the Wisconsin state legislature put a cap on how much the city could increase its levy 10 years ago.

"Because of that even though the cost of living has gone up as much as 29% our levy has only increased by 13%," said Ringberg

With a compounding problem and a pandemic, the city is still trying to assess just how much money they've lost. So they are thinking of new ways to generate revenue like paid parking.

"We have about 700 parking spots in the city downtown area. If we average 2 dollars space a day that's about 1,400 dollars," said Ringberg.

While Ringberg says it is no quick fix, it is a way to stop the bleeding the city is facing. Some business owners think these creative ways of generating revenue are needed.

"I agree that we need creative ways to generate income I think we need to be completely out of the box," said Flemming.

Out of the box ideas, coming from an out of the box year, to help prepare for the long road ahead.

"We still need to keep positive. We have a long way to go. So I think the only way to get through this together respectfully and positively and get outside, that's the best." said Flemming.

Mayor Ringberg says the city is also looking at other ideas to increase revenue and hopes to have a plan in place come spring.

John Cardinale

Skip to content