Meeting Minutes

Call to order: Meeting called to order at 6 PM by President Phyllis Lapi

Minutes: Previous minutes distributed by secretary, motion to approve made by  by Sue Barker seconded by Janine Nelson.

Treasurer’s Report: (read by Sue Barker in absence of treasurer)

Savings Balance: 2,561.93

Checking Balance: 1,348.44

Motion to accept report made by Deb Grimshaw seconded by Sheryl Neal.

Guest Speaker:

Michael McMahon commissioner of social services presented in summary: Some of the main concerns in the county are homelessness and heroin use/addiction. This month the Governor issued an executive order that anyone homeless must be placed even if they are not complying. The county is working closely with St.Mary’s hospital, they have made it their strategic plan to make substance abuse and mental health their priority. The workforce program was discussed, this allows individuals to gain skills to help them return to the workforce, programs like these are being emphasized.

Stan McMillan representing the Ayres animal Shelter asked to acknowledge and express their appreciation for the work that Matt Ossenfort and the legislature is doing in support of the animal cruelty laws. Strides are being made due to their efforts.

Concerned citizens raised concerns about some of the issues with rental properties not being kept up. Concern was also expressed that the local hotels are often used to place individuals who are displaced and the effect this can have on tourism. Mr. McMahon explained that individuals are being placed more often in shelters where they can receive additional supports which will alleviate some of these concerns.

Mayor Avery to housing issue, he explained the importance of having good codes and working closely with the code enforcer to ensure standards are met. He currently meets 3 times a week with the code enforcer to stay on top of these issues. There are challenges with out of town landlords but with diligence the village has had success in taking care of many issues.

Old Business:

No old business


Chamber received several thank you notes:

Sue Crua for donation to music program. Donation made in appreciation of them singing at elves night.

Sue Leavitt for all the donations of cookies. Over 175 children were served on elves night.

Music on Main Street in appreciation of the donation. Music schedule has been published and will be posted on web site.

New Business:

Anthony Palmeri suggested a method of payment be put on the chamber website and also ability for people to make donations. This will proceed.

Priority for 2016 is fundraising. Funds have been depleted and at least 2 good fundraisers are needed. All expenditures must come through committee and be budgeted.

Various committees have been formed and the chamber is looking for volunteers. Sign up sheets were passed around for volunteers. Anyone else interested can see Phyllis Lapi. Description of each committee and some suggestions for the year were presented as follows:

Promotional Committee– responsible for advertising, promoting businesses, flyers, website promotion.

Suggestions for this year:  Welcome packet for realtors to give to new homeowners, meet your merchants (picture and story highlighting businesses on website and face book), newsletter

Village Pride: – decorations, plantings, flags

Suggestions for this year: Open

Fundraising: – assisting with raising funds

Suggestions for this year: Plans for a cemetery tour are underway, dinner meeting, spaghetti supper, Brooks barbecue, coupon booklet

Special events: – events that promote businesses (not fund raisers)

Suggestions for this year: Continue to promote elves night, look for additional events to bring focus onto businesses

Finance Committee: – Sets budget

Suggestion for this year: Implement a yearly audit

Website Liaison:  Ensure website is being used to fullest extent

Suggestions for this year: Open

Additional Items Discussed:

Perhaps meetings could be held at alternate locations such as at a restaurant. Will continue to explore this option

Meetings: Meetings to be held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Next Chamber meeting 2/9/16 6 PM at Arkell Center.

Motion: meeting adjourned by Sheryl Neal and Deb Grimshaw

Respectfully Submitted by:    Kim Lawrence, Secretary