Newton Falls – The Newton Falls Area Commerce Association started off 2014 with their January meeting with an eye toward plans for the new year involving how to continue promoting businesses and improving the economy in the community.
After the previous minutes and financial report were approved, guests Patty and Robert Parkhurst were introduced. They are in the life-and-health insurance markets through Experian and possibly interested in joining the NFACA. The agenda then moved to old business which included discussion about the three proposals for a revamp of the website design. It was ultimately decided to table the topic until the next meeting, giving members a chance in the meantime to explore the samples provided by the proposals as well as see the corrections promised to be made to the existing NFACA site by the association’s current webmaster.
In new business, Daniel Fitzpatrick D.O. and Lazy B Trailer Sales Inc. were accepted into membership and welcomed as new members. Alternate possibilities for Small Business Saturday were discussed with the question being what month would most benefit the local shops. Although SBS is traditionally the Saturday after Thanksgiving, it may make more sense to tailor the date to the needs of the surrounding community, perhaps in May or another warmer time. A recap on this year’s tree-lighting experience was given, with the mentioning that a group has offered to take over the decorating responsibilities next year rather than members of the NFACA needing to volunteer for the project. Also under the umbrella of keeping consumer dollars in town, the membership explored the idea of a local merchant credit card/locally-owned debit card which would give an incentive to cardholders for shopping locally.
By way of the city manager’s report, it was noted that funding for this year’s operations has been reduced leading to adjustments in the snow plowing schedule and hours of operation for the Street Department. Further, as a result of lesser funding for the Police Department, the number of available full-time officers will be reduced and part-time officers will be utilized in their stead. City Council will be meeting on January 21st to discuss goals for 2014. Also of note, the city is working with the Civil Service Commission concerning an apprentice lineman exam which should take place in March. In the interest of public safety, the city is working with PUCO to improve and maintain the signalization required at the Windham Road railroad crossing. In other news, the Parks and Recreation Commission has one opening. Interested parties must be city residents (not Township). Another Commission in need of a qualified city resident is the Civil Service Commission. Per the City Charter, this position must be filled by someone who is a registered voter with a Republican designation. Lastly, the city manager mentioned that they recently met with the engineer and contractor who have been selected to perform the renovations on the water tower, a project which is expected to take place in the spring.
The next NFACA meeting will be noon on Tuesday, February 11 at Roby Lee’s.