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Meeting Minutes (May 2011)

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Meeting Minutes (May 2011)

Meeting Minutes of May 3, 2011

Jimmy L. Foster—Watertown Gazette
Bo Hussung—Lulu’s Café
Julie Nixon—Hardware of Watertown
Brenda Hawkins—Gypsy Moon
Beth Lee—B&J Specialties
Dianne Fletcher—JECDB
Lew Wallace—Lew’s Creation Station
Justin Johnson—Watertown Resident
Pamela Moore—Watertown Library
Jim Amero—Jim’s Antiques
Donna Delmas—Sun Graphics
Marlynda Schibley—Marylnda’s Hair Salon
Jerry Hobson—BSA Troop 127
Melanie Hobson—BSA Troop 127
Jami Alexander—McFarland Rehab Center
Teresa Folsom—Folsom Farms
Hunter Allen—Lulu’s Coffeehouse
Jessi Arnn – Dead Man’s General Store
Colette Lanham-Stoffel—Visionary Design Group
Susan Thornton—Thornton Metals Studio
Robin Johnson—Watertown Resident

The May meeting of the Watertown & East Wilson County Chamber of Commerce was held at Subway of Watertown. President Hunter Allen welcomed those in attendance and called the meeting to order.
Minutes from the March meeting were presented. A motion was made by Jim Amero and seconded by Lew Wallace to accept the minutes. Motion carried.

Finance report was given by Hunter Allen, who reported a closing balance of $11,375. Lew Wallace made a motion to accept the financial report, and Beth Lee seconded the motion. Motion carried.

President Hunter Allen announced to the Chamber that a meeting would be held that evening to request county funds, and that he had plans to attend the meeting on behalf of the Watertown & East Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. Guest Speaker Jami Alexander from McFarland Rehab Center addressed the Chamber. She informed the members that the rehab center is an in-patient acute rehab center, so Wilson County residents have the option to have recovery close to home. Their center includes such services as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. The facility is associated with University Medical Center, and their patients receive three hours of physical therapy five days a week.

Jerry Hobson from Boy Scout Troop 127 also addressed the Chamber about his Eagle Scout project. This project will include pressure washing the square, painting the light posts, and repairing the benches. The estimated cost for the project was about $1,000, and donations of cash or materials were needed. Chamber members discussed options for supporting the project. Jim Amero made a motion to contribute half of the estimated cost, making a donation of $500. Beth Lee seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Jim Amero reported on the success of the Spring Mile Long Yard Sale. He stated that it was a success on paper, though it was the worst so far in terms of bumps in the road. He was required to put up more money this time for police and explorers, and that amount totaled $900. However, he did save money on track and pick up over previous yard sales. The final figures for this even yielded over $4,000 profit, which made it the biggest yard sale yet, and allowed Jim to receive a bonus. Jim also mentioned that his contract to organize the yard sale ends in 2014, and he would like to train someone to take his place.

Donna Delmas reported on the two bunny trains, thanking everyone for their help, mentioning in particular Brenda Hawkins for helping both weekends, Julie Nixon for hosting at the Atwood House, and Molly Agee for taking photos. She mentioned that the Chamber spent $75 less than last year, and excluded the cake walk, which was missed by some, but did allow train riders to visit more of the local businesses. She did mention that the businesses didn’t do well, and the Chamber members discussed the pros and cons of continuing with the trains.

Bo Hussung, the new co-chair for the Music & Arts Festival, reported on the progress of the event. He mentioned that a committee meeting would be held the following week. He say that most of the slots for musical performers were filled, but that a few more were still needed. He also mentioned that they had about 16 commitments from artists who planned to set up. He stated that the main focus for this year was to lay a foundation for a premier event in future years. He said that once all of the contracts are in, he would begin work on corporate sponsors. His goal is to have 5,000-7,000 attendees this year, and 10,000-15,000 next year.

Hunter addressed the Chamber regarding Chamber sponsored events, stating that we would need to have a discussion in the near future about any changes we want to make. He stated that it is hard to find volunteers to work events, and that particularly with the train, members seem to be questioning who they really benefit. He mentioned that he did see some renewed interest in the train robberies and in the Music & Arts Festival, but that he is finding it hard to get members excited about any of the other events. Hunter acknowledged that maybe everyone is struggling in their own business, leaving them with no energy to put into events, but that he still feels we should select a few events and build on them. Bo Hussung made a motion for the Chamber to form an exploratory committee to rethink and renogotiate train visits, discussing options with Terry Bebout. Jim Amero seconded the motion. Donna Delmas asked if the committee would focus only on trains, and Bo said that initially it would. Jim Amero, Lew Wallace, Bo Hussun, Jimmy Foster, and Susan Thornton volunteered for the committee.

Hunter Allen mentioned to the Chamber that during the May train robbery, Jim Amero would be out of town, and he is the one who usually opens the Atwood House, puts out trash cans, and ropes off the middle of the square. Hunter and Donna Delmas both volunteered to take care of it in his absence. Hunter brought the new Chamber office up for discussion, stating that we have the building, but it now needs to be cleaned up and set up. Justin Johnson present a proposal to build some shelving that is needed, saying that the approximate cost is $210, and he would like to ask for a total of $500 to include the estimate cost, any additional costs, and his labor. A motion was made by Lew Wallace and seconded by Jim Amero to accept his proposal. Motion carried. Hunter also stated that Bridgestone donated 6 new tires for our trolley, and thanked Dianne Fletcher of JECDB for suggesting that we approach them. Hunter said that the tires would be delivered to the local tire shop where would could have them put on the trolley. Hunter Allen brought the topic of Chamber advertising up for discussion, stating that he would like to designate an advertising budget for the year and place someone in chart of advertising, not including radio, because the cost for that is too high for the Chamber to cover.

Bo Hussung asked about other options for advertising, and Hunter clarified that the budget he had in mind would be for other forms of advertising. After discussion between member, it was agreed that the discussion of an advertising director and budget would be addressed again at a future meeting. Colette Lanham-Stoffel mentioned that the radio package she has originally present to the Chamber may no longer be available.

Teresa Folsom mentioned that a train robbery meeting would be held the next day at Lulu’s Coffeehouse at 7:00 pm. Hunter mentioned that we contributed $300 for ammunition, and that we need to find a way to recoup that money. He also encouraged retailers to dress up for the train robbery.

Jessi Arnn informed the Chamber about a 7th Grade Art Contest that the chamber officers were approached to sponsor at their meeting. The art contest is part of a healthy living initiative that the schools are taking part in. Members discussed upcoming town events. Jessi Arnn stated that the chamber officers had tentatively set the Cruise-In for June 4th. Jim Amero mentioned that May 12-14 would be the Boy Scout Jamboree. Colette Lanham-Stoffel mentioned that Leadership Wilson would be visiting the following day from 10:15-11:30.

Donna Delmas asked if someone else would take the Chamber phone for a while, and Robin Johnson volunteered to take it.

Hunter Allen asked members if a one-hour meeting is still long enough to cover everything that needed to be covered. Most members said we should keep it at one hour.

Julie Nixon made a motion to adjourn the meeting.
Pat Jackson seconded the motion.
Meeting adjourned.