Newton Falls – The April meeting of the Newton Falls Area Commerce Association began with a discussion on any communications received since the last meeting. NFACA President and Newton Falls Mayor Lyle Waddell mentioned that Patrick Hartory, an Ohio author, sent an email querying the association’s interest in having him come speak about customer relations. The membership expressed that this may be a viable option and further conversation with Mr. Hartory is expected to take place. Following that part of the agenda, the previous minutes and the financial report were approved, with discussion about how best to store the archived minutes. They are available online on the website, however, a hard copy has also usually been kept for quick reference.
Guests from the Kiwanis Labor Day Race Committee were given the floor to discuss the upcoming race were held on September 1st. The 4-mile run (4 to celebrate the 44444 zip code) is celebrating its 25th year this fall. New Kiwanis member Cassie Stroup has taken the lead in this year’s race organization and she mentioned that they hope to have even more participation this year. This past year there were 200 runners and 40 walkers so the committee is looking forward to getting the word out early with the fact that there are a few significant changes to how the race will be presented, most notably a new route around town. The committee is also hoping to create a scholarship fund this year so that 80% of the proceeds will still go to the Senior Citizens Van but then 20% will go to a scholarship for local students (capped at $1,500). There will be business sponsorship opportunities for this event, such has contributing advertising stuffers for the goody bags, so anyone interested can talk to a committee member, check out the facebook page or otherwise do an online search for information about the event.
The featured NFACA member for April was “Santa” Rick Kerlin of Our Towne Construction who mentioned that the home improvement business was started last year and they do work such as concrete work, construction work, etc. He also said that they focus on giving back to this community as they live and work in this community. Locals will recognize Kerlin and his crew as well-known characters around Christmas time. In addition to participating in the NFACA, Our Towne Construction is also a member of the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Chamber. Next month will be feature Tanya Allman with Huntington Bank.
By way of old business, the streetlamp banners are ready to go to the printers – they should be hanging up around town soon. Small Business Saturday is still in discussion and several ideas were offered to tie the event in with another event such as the annual car show, yard sale, or a specially-planned wine tasting.
In new business, advertising methods and member-to-member discounts were discussed as well as the recent presentation made by the Kiwanis. A motion was approved to let the finance committee discuss the Kiwanis’ request for monetary sponsorship and give a recommendation to the membership on how to proceed.
During the city manager’s report, Mr. Haney mentioned that Tire Collection Days are May 1st and 2nd from 8am-2pm at the street department off of Church Street. This is in conjunction with City-Wide Clean-up Day on May 2nd during which the high schoolers will be helping to clean up Veterans’ Park. In other news, work on the water tower will begin soon so residents may notice workers way up high taking care of some maintenance issues. Street paving planned for this year includes Ravenna Road, Water Street, and Arlington areas. The turn lane arrows in downtown will be restored as soon as weather permits. Also to be noted is an Income Tax issue on the forthcoming ballot. It will involve a .5% income tax up for vote (imposed on earned income only) that is expected to raise $250,000 to stabilize the city budget. Since 2005 the city has lost $430,000 and the new money would be used for the street department, police department and Parks & Rec.
Before the meeting adjourned, time was given for open discussion and it was noted that several new businesses are coming to town. The Pit-Stop Tire building by the Dairy Queen, a Mexican restaurant moving in to the old Faces Café, another photography studio moving into the freestanding building across from Cole Valley (that at one time was a dance studio, then a photography studio, and most recently an art studio) are just a few of the new storefronts popping up.
The next NFACA meeting will be noon on Tuesday, May 13 at Roby Lee’s.