City of Superior Officially Cuts Ties with Roger ‘The Iceman’ Hanson for 2017
As we reported last month, the future of 'Iceman' Roger Hanson's contract with the City of Superior was on thin ice following two years of weather-related issues and limited community support. The Superior City Council has now officially made a decision on the third and final year of his contract with the city.
Through the course of May's council meetings, a handful of City Council members expressed doubts about the investment being made into Hanson his ice projects. He was initially hired by the City of Superior to create an anchor attraction for a winter festival city officials hoped would develop into a successful community event that would also draw some regional tourism. The initial agreement between Hanson and the city was a three-year contract.
The City Government's contribution to the contract came from Superior’s Tourism Development Fund, and the other portion came from lodging taxes and fees in Superior. Hanson's first year had a $30,000 price tag on it, expanding each year of the deal to $60,000 he was supposed to receive in 2017, the final year of the initial deal.
After both of the first two years of Hanson's ice projects were hampered by warm and windy weather conditions, questions about whether the city would pick up the third year of the deal came up. During the City Council’s May 3 meeting, Councilors Jack Sweeney and Tom Fennessey expressed particular reservations about funding a third year of the project. Hanson also spoke to the City Council at this meeting, admitting things looked "dismal" for the future of the ice project. In a Finance Committee meeting on May 12, a recommendation was officially passed back to the City Council not to renew for a third year. That recommendation was approved as part of the consent agenda on the June 7 meeting.
During the May 17 Finance Committee Meeting, the future of Superior's winter festival was discussed beyond Roger Hanson's involvement. While Hanson will not be a part of the 2017 winter festival, a recommendation to approve funding to plan and promote a 2017 festival was passed to the City Council. That said, you can look forward to some form of a community event in the coming winter season, only it will be anchored by a different primary attraction.