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WARREN AREA CHAMBER MEETING

 

Lunch provided by East of Chicago

Prayer led by Pastor Andrew Fisher

 

Introduction of chamber members and guests

Minutes of Previous Meeting and Treasurer’s Report approved at Chamber Board Meeting

Spotlight Business/Speakers:

  • JH Pottery Works – Josh Heim, owner, offers Play in Clay, a six week class to teach how to make pottery. He also offers Clay Camp during the summer.  He displayed pots that were made with Indiana clay that he dug up from the ground, and plans to have a line of Indiana Pottery.
  • Golfo di Napoli – Crystal and Matt from Golfo di Napoli joined us. Matt thanked the town of Warren, County Commissioners, HCUED and all others that helped over the last five months.  He also thanked everyone that was able to come to the open house to support them.  The back part of the building houses a 25,000 square foot factory that makes mozzarella, burrata and ricotta cheese.  They also offer smoked mozzarella.  There is an Italian Café in the front of the building that offers paninis, salads, gelato, espresso and wine.  Most of the cheese made at the facility is being consumed by the local café and the Chicago store.  The Chicago store opened in July.  The vast majority of employees come from the Warren area.  Guillermo (William) is the head cheese maker and is from Solerno, Italy and they are happy to have him here.

New Business:

  • Parkview Boys & Girls Club – Desiree Frederick spoke regarding the Summer Program for Warren that just started this past summer. She thanked the Warren community for helping to put this program together on such short notice when BGC was asked to do it right before the end of the school year.  Each kid that attended performed at least 2 hours of community service.  They had 15 kids that attended the fitness camp at Warren Health & Fitness.  She thanked the Knight Bergman Center for hosting the kids.  The school helped provide lunches to feed each of the kids.  They hope to add two new programs next year – Positive Action, a drug program and Be a Star program.  They hope to double the number of kids that attend.  If anyone would like to contribute to next year’s summer program, you can send a check to Parkview Boys & Girls Club and put Warren Summer Program in the memo line.
  • Treasurer Position – Patti Bustos, from Bippus State Bank, has graciously offered to step into the role of treasurer next year. The board thanks Joanie Paxson for her service this year.
  • Nominating Committee – Josh asked for members to sit on the nominating committee and volunteers that would be willing to put their name in the hat to serve three years on the board starting in January of 2020.
  • Vinyl Window Clings – Joanie Paxson is working with Debbie Lindhorst to create vinyl window clings for each Chamber member for next year.
  • Insurance – The board is getting quotes to insure the stage at Riverside Park and add liability insurance to the concerts.

Old Business:

  • Scarecrow Festival – Krysta passed around a sign-up sheet for volunteers and to have a booth. The Salamonie PTO has decided to combine their Harvest Festival with the Scarecrow Festival, so they will also have an area at the festival.  The date again is October 25th.

 

Updates:

  • Downtown Park – Becky Souder said that the last concert went well. The new lights that were approved were up and made a great difference in the lighting for the band.  The new no smoking signs were also put up.
  • HC Chamber – Steve Kimmel announced that there will be a Founder’s Day Celebration on September 17th. It happens to be the 171st anniversary of the town of Huntington being founded.  Also, on October 23rd from 11:30-1:00 the Chamber will be hosting John Bright, a Certified Main Street Manager, to talk about keeping downtown vibrant in a digital age.  The event is free, but lunch is $10.
  • HCCF – Michael noted that Lily Scholarship applications are due today and grant requests are due on October 15th.
  • Huntington County Commissioners – Tom brought Kittie Kieffer, from the County Council, and Rob Miller from County Commissioners to talk about the new jail that needs to be built in our county. The current jail has a maximum capacity of 92 inmates, but currently houses 152.  Years ago, the state made a change to where level six offenders are held and they are now to be held at the county jails instead of the state run facilities, which has helped in the overcrowding of the local jails.  Tom showed plans for the new jail, which will allow them to separate the women from the men, and the mental health inmates from the general population inmates.  The cost will be around 18-20 million and the projections show that this should work for the next 20 years.  Rob Miller noted that in another county in Indiana, a federal judge had to force the county to expand the jail and it ended up costing the county more than it would have had they done it on their own.  The commissioners are in charge of making sure the jail is adequate for the needs of the county and unfortunately the expansion is very necessary. 
  • United Way – Kyle noted that United Way has the ability to shift funding to where it’s needed most and they have been happy to help with the opioid crisis, by partnering with Place of Grace, a non-profit company that helps women after incarceration.
  • Historic Warren – Becky noted that Holiday Walk and Festival of Trees will be November 22nd from 5-8
  • SSF – Next meeting will be September 10th at 6:30 pm at KBC.
  • Creative Arts Outreach – Tamara noted they will have a felting class on September 16th and a basket class on September 21st.

 **The next meeting Chamber meeting will be held on October 2, 2019.**

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