Monett Chamber of Commerce Board members discussed plans for fall and year-end events at the August meeting.
One of the chamber's big year-end events will be Festival of Flavors. Cindy Stephens and Janell Patton, co-chairpersons for the event, reported vendors found Tuesdays better than the traditional Thursday date. The festival will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 8, earlier than in past years, giving vendors more time to market their holiday specials and book catering events.
The Festival of Flavors will be back at the Family Life Center at the First United Methodist Church. Interested vendors can contact the chamber office at 235-7919.
Sign-ups have begun to staff the elf hunt during the Festival of Lights. McElmurry said this is the earliest requests have been received to participate in the popular Christmas season activity.
Walter Branch briefed the board about the start of the leadership class. Fourteen participants are involved in the program, which began with a retreat at the Roaring River State Park Inn and Conference Center. The facility proved quite accommodating in an attractive setting. Class members are now meeting every other week for a half-day on Thursdays through Nov. 17.
The luncheon for new teachers in the Monett R-1 School District was held on Aug. 2 at St. John's Lutheran Church. McElmurry said it was one of the best programs hosted for new teachers and left a positive impression on the participants.
The city's decision to demolish the City Park Casino due to structural deficiencies provided a topic for extended discussion among chamber board members. City Administrator Dennis Pyle asked the board to think about what it values in having a gathering place at the park and then share those ideas with city council members. Pyle and Mayor Jim Orr plan to resume the discussion with industrial leaders at the Industry Council meeting on Sept. 12 so that the replacement building will meet the needs of the community, including the business sector.
Pyle updated the board on the latest sales tax report, showing further improvement in the local economy. Trainers from the Missouri Main Street program were expected in town during September as part of the Main Street grant arrangement. Focus groups have been held as part of the Downtown Revitalization and Economic Assistance for Missouri (DREAM) Initiative. Pyle said the gatherings have been well attended, and he looked forward to hearing results from the discussions.
Looking at government affairs, the board asked McElmurry to notify members by email of the public meeting on the county-wide sales tax proposal that will appear on the November ballot. Board members felt part of the chamber's goal is to encourage participation at meetings and take advantage of opportunities to voice opinions.
McElmurry reported the chalk walk contest planned for Broadway Nights in August had been rained out. Options for continuing the event at another date were discussed.
The license office continues to do well. One of the highest volume days for business on record took place in August.
McElmurry said the new display of retired street signs donated by the city had generated many positive comments. More out-of-state license plates have been donated. The staff hopes to begin mounting the collection in the next few weeks, in an effort to gather a sample from all 50 states.