Cheyenne County Chamber mulls over 2017 budget

 


Cheyenne County of Chamber will hold two meetings in October to go over budget items to finalize its 2017 budget. Members were encouraged to get their budget items into the finance committee as soon as possible.

A new objective was brought to the table to try to get younger individuals more active in the community, similar to the previous group Young Professionals. A focus was also mentioned that research is also done on how to get the most information regarding Sidney tourism opportunities to travelers on Interstate 80.

Chamber Director Denise Wilkinson reported that due to recent events, a new door buzzer was installed at the Chamber building to notify employees when someone is coming in the door so staff can monitor the building better. Doors were also fixed to be properly secured.

Wilkinson reported there are currently 259 Cheyenne County Chamber members. The Chamber’s new target for next year is to gain 29 new members.

Hal Enevoldsen from the Cheyenne County Visitors Center asked the Chamber if it was possible for the groups to start working together in some areas, such as marketing research, so both don’t have to spend money and time finding the same information. The Chamber board agreed the two organizations would start working together to benefit the community.


Enevoldsen said the Visitor’s Committee is working on finding Sidney’s brand. He said since Cabela’s has built new stores closer to Sidney, it has taken away from the number of people traveling to Sidney specifically to shop at Cabela’s.

Representatives from Western Nebraska Community College reported enrollment rates are up at all three campuses this year. They said WNCC housing in Sidney is currently not full but they are at 85 percent.

Drew Enveoldsen reported that Downtown Sounds is looking at possibly holding a beer garden at next year’s events. Downtown Sounds spent roughly $20,000 on the events this past year. The second event drew about 500 people. All of the events were free to the public.

Drew said a beer garden would give the event a chance to draw in additional income to sponsor the events again. Currently, Downtown Sounds is funded by sponsors, Chamber, city and county. The Chamber gave the green light to start research on applying for a liquor license and report to the board next month. Drew will also be going to the City Council to present his idea. The idea is to have this event be done carefully and tastefully.


Board member Regina Narjes reported on the Produce and Picker’s Farmer Market and reported that the Chamber committee is looking at discontinuing the Farmer’s Market for next year due to the event not producing very many funds for the time and effort placed into it.

Narjes said this year’s Farmer’s Market continues the trend of having fewer venders each year. In discussion, board members came to the conclusion that resources could be used in a better way. The possibility of someone else or a different organization in Sidney to take the Farmer’s Market over for next year was also discussed.

Next year’s celebration of the Sesquicentennial was discussed in length. Wilkinson reported planning for the city, county and state’s 150th anniversary has already begun. Chamber board members spit into subcommittee groups and will be in charge of planning for various activities. The current plan is to have a local event in mid-August anticipating hosting more than 2,000 people. Plans are for a weekend event consisting of big entertainment on Friday, an opera/saloon show on Saturday and a old church picnic on Sunday.

The board wants the weekend to be packed full of numerous activities for the entire family. The event would be externally and grant funded.

 

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