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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Chamber, city partner to promote downtown

Thursday, February 25, 2010

MOnett Chamber of Commerce office.
The Monett Chamber of Commerce and the City of Monett have agreed to a partnership to help promote the downtown area. Details were discussed at the chamber board of directors meeting in February.

Mayor Jim Orr and City Administrator Dennis Pyle attended the session as ex officio members and talked about the plan to work more closely with the chamber in a promotional effort.

In its 2010-11 budget, the city has budgeted $20,000 to help pay for a Main Street coordinator. It will be the job of the part-time person to seek grants for downtown development and spearhead other efforts, such as obtaining a historic district designation.

According to Suzy McElmurry, chamber executive director, the chamber will work with downtown businesses to help cover the additional cost of the Main Street coordinator, who would work out of the chamber office.

McElmurry said the kinds of promotional work a part-time person could do fall under the four main goals of the Main Street U.S.A. program. Also, if the state chooses to continue its Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) initiative, the new Main Street coordinator could focus on preparing an application as well as implementing parts of the Vision 2030 plan.

A board, made up of two chamber members and two downtown representatives, will be established to supervise the coordinator, McElmurry said. Details on financial arrangements are still being worked out.

"I think it's a very positive move," McElmurry said. "We've got some momentum. Broadway Nights is doing well. It appears to be an ideal time to keep everyone on the same page and moving forward."

Annual meeting

Preparations were made for the chamber's annual membership meeting to be held Thursday, March 25 at the Southwest Area Career Center. This year's theme will be "Bloom Where You Are Planted." Julie Vaughn is the event chairperson.

Tickets for the annual banquet go on sale Feb. 25. The Lennon Sisters and their brother will bring their Branson show to Monett, providing the evening's entertainment.

Board members spent a good portion of the evening selecting winners of the Community Service Award and the Pride and Progress Award, which will be announced at the banquet. McElmurry said deliberations were difficult in selecting from a field of worthy candidates.

Three incoming board members will be elected at the annual meeting. A nominating committee to select a slate of candidates will be named in the next two weeks.

Upcoming activities

Plans are also in place for the annual agriculture conferences on March 2 at the National Guard Armory in Monett. Randy Henderson, David Young and Danny Vaughn are serving on the organizing committee.

The chamber will again provide lunch during the dairy conference. The Southwest Missouri Cattlemen's Association is preparing chili dinner for the beef cattlemen's conference.

No advance signup is needed, McElmurry said. Families are encouraged to come in the evening to give young people a chance to see what agriculture is all about.

Between 18 and 22 vendors are expected to have exhibits set up offering products and services for ag producers. The trade show will be open during both conferences, McElmurry added.

Preparations are in place for the fourth year of Leadership Monett. The kick-off retreat will be held on March 11 and 12 at Camp Barnabas.

Board members discussed sending out letters in late March seeking donations to help with this year's July 4 celebration, which will again be overseen by the chamber. McElmurry said the $2,500 deposit has been made to A&M Pyrotechnics for the fireworks show. Additional donations go toward building the size of the show.

License office activity

The license office recently underwent its review by a field representative from the Missouri Department of Revenue. McElmurry said the office is in full compliance with its new contract.

The office is allowed to have 2 percent of its transactions rejected due to errors. According to a recent e-mail from the Department of Revenue, the Monett office has had 100 percent of its transactions approved.

January activity at the license office was down by about 200 transactions from a year ago. The chamber is expecting less revenue for the year due to the decrease in purchases of new vehicles and the availability of on-line transactions in Lawrence County.

The next board meeting will be the annual joint session between the incoming and the outgoing boards, set for March 31.

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