Newton Falls – Several new faces and prospective members gathered at Roby Lee’s Restaurant for the Newton Falls Area Commerce Association’s February meeting. With what was the largest crowd in attendance in recent history, Association President Lyle Waddell started off the business meeting by requesting the financial report update and approval of the last meeting’s minutes before recognizing the various guests which included representatives from the local veterans’ organizations as well as association members who have not been able to attend many previous meetings but who plan to make a stronger effort in joining in the discussion to help promote local businesses. 

The agenda continued with the City Manager’s report which gave a brief review of several ongoing projects in town and changes brought about in 2012. Mr. Haney mentioned that republican candidates are needed for the Civil Service Commission (not the Charter Review, as he’d previously stated) and wanted to clarify that oversight. Anyone interested in joining City committees should contact his office at (330) 872-0806. Updates on the economic development plan; a complete remake of the City’s Website; consideration of establishing a Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) with Braceville Township; future Park Visioning plans; drafting of a comprehensive plan for Planning & Zoning, possibilities of a bike trail; Make a Difference Day results; gratitude to the Flower Beautification Committee; progress on the Land Bank program (which can take up to two years to complete); demolition, paving, and RUMA projects; obtaining of infrastructure grants; dispatch discontinuation; police levy and forgiveness tax information were offered.

In old business, designs for the new town banners are progressing. Five drafts in varying styles and representing different popular landmarks were presented for discussion and approval: a black and orange graphic style featuring the iconic covered bridge; a vintage style featuring the town water tower; a more elegant style which included the bridge, the water tower, and the namesake waterfalls; a painting-like option featuring the downtown business district; and an out-of-the-box option spotlighting architectural elements around the town. A motion was passed to proceed with the “trio of landmarks” design as a work in progress. Variations of that design will be presented at the next meeting.

Also in old business, a motion was passed to move forward with updated methods of advertising including dividing the budget among the three newspapers who are members. Conversation centered around how to effectively adapt to a wider range of potential clients, including those who may prefer the Internet over printed communication. The Association does have a website at where potential members can find information on benefits, a list of current members and discounts they may offer, city events, and tourism facts. “Like” the NFACA’s page on Facebook to stay up-to-date on current goings-on and show your support for local businesses! (Search for “Newton Falls Area Commerce Association”.)

Due to old business discussions filling up the remaining time, any new business will be brought up first at the next meeting which will be held on Tuesday, March 12th at noon.