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By Christa Jennings
Senior staff writer
The Coosa County Chamber of Commerce has plans underway for a mid-year member event, as well as its participation in community events.
During its meeting last Monday evening, the Chamber Board of Directors reviewed upcoming events and discussed its possible participation in those. The chamber still plans to have a table set up at the Color me Healthy event sponsored by the Coosa County Children’s Policy Council, which was rescheduled to May 6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The chamber board is also looking into possibly setting up at the Rockford Spring Fling on May 20, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., depending on member availability.
The board also mentioned Weogufka Mule Day on April 29 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., but it was not decided at the meeting whether the chamber would set up a table for that event.
Regarding the mid-year member event, Chamber President Lynn Anne Castleberry and board members discussed and began making preliminary plans to hold the event June 5.
The board also discussed potential venues for that event, as well as the chamber’s annual fall event, such as Ed’s on Main, the I.H.O.P.E. community building, or Sports Grille 9, all in Goodwater.
After discussion and following up with the town, the chamber has decided to hold the June 5 member networking event at the Goodwater Community Center. Castleberry mentioned this event being one way the chamber is attempting to begin holding more member-focused events and offering members more networking opportunities.
The June mid-year event will include three local guest speakers who will provide updates and information on their business or entity they represent. Networking and social time will begin at 5:30 p.m., with a meal being served at 6 p.m.
The event and meal are free for chamber members and one guest per member. Members can RSVP to the chamber by emailing CoosaChamber@gmail.com by May 26, and members will be receiving official invitations to the event, as well.
Also during the meeting, secretary Cornelia Tuck provided the board with member updates, stating that since the last meeting the chamber had gained two new members. Those were Judge of Probate Richard Dean and District 3 County Commissioner Brandon Davis.
The chamber also recognized a guest during last week’s meeting, Jertavious Whetstone, owner of Mac’s Automotive Detailing in Rockford.
In other business, after brief discussion, the chamber board unanimously approved ending the promotional half-price membership rates, effective immediately.
It was stated that this would not affect the rates since at this time the membership fees are at half price because they are pro-rated based on how far into the membership year it is. The membership rates will further decrease to 25% of the usual rates during the fourth quarter.
The chamber board also discussed the rental agreement for its office space at the E-911 building, which had been mentioned during its March meeting. Castleberry stated that she and Chamber Vice President Scott White had met with EMA Director Sheldon Hutcherson and E-911 Director Amanda Robinson to discuss the office space.
She said they were told that the E-911 Board’s state auditor said the board cannot provide in-kind, or free, office space for non-responsive entities, or those not involved in emergency response services. The E-911 Board had proposed a rental fee of $5,450 per year for the room the Chamber of Commerce currently occupies.
Castleberry said they were told that fee was based upon all current offices in the building and splitting the cost of utilities and the like among each office.
She added that she asked Robinson and Hutcherson for the lease agreement to review prior to the chamber board voting on it, and as of last week’s meeting she was still waiting to receive a copy of the actual lease agreement.
As such, at its meeting there was no lease available for the board to review or vote on whether it would be feasible for the chamber to stay at its current location.
The board discussed other options to consider for the chamber’s monthly meetings or office space, such as purchasing a small building to make into an office, utilizing the former Extension Office or old Rockford Senior Center, or using the conference room at Infinity Coffee Shop for meetings.
It was further mentioned that if it does not stay at the E-911 building then the chamber will also need storage for its furniture and office supplies. The board also discussed talking to state representatives to see about possible assistance and potentially checking about county property that it may be able to utilize.
Following discussion, because there was no lease agreement in hand to review and not enough information regarding other options at this time, the board unanimously approved tabling the matter until its next meeting.
In other business, the chamber board also unanimously approved adding three current positions to the chamber’s bank account to update changes in positions. Those positions and current holders are President Lynn Anne Castleberry, Treasurer Kathy Fulmer and Member-at-Large Spencer Hardy Sr.
Castleberry also asked the board to be considering ideas for the chamber’s next project, such as helping create a welcome packet for new residents and resuming the monthly chamber business spotlight in “The Coosa County News.”
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Coosa County Chamber of Commerce will be held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, May 8.