Wall-Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting Minutes, Monday, June 12, 2017
– By #Kelsey Walter
Chamber Board President Jackie Kusser called the meeting to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Chamber Board Member Jonny Winn-Holsether.
Minutes from the April Chamber Luncheon where discussed and a Library report needed to be added. Motion, made by Cindy Hauk with a second by Carol Hoffman, carried to approve April 10 meeting minutes.
Jackie made announcements of upcoming events in the chamber and community.
Badlands National Park: Park Superintendent Mike Pflaum introduced two college students who will be working with the park to create a plan for park management. Mike informed those in attendance of the Astronomy Fest that will be held in the Badlands National Park June 23- 25. During the event astronomy experts will be present to conduct various programs. Badlands National Park recently celebrated the launch of the Bison Expansion Project. The park hopes to begin work on the project soon which will allow bison to roam a larger area of the park. Visitation at the park has been rising compared to previous months and park employees are looking forward to a busy summer season.
Badlands Bad River: Dawn Hilgenkamp: At the last BBR meeting representatives from Philip and Kadoka discussed the future of the BBR and what projects the communities are working on. Next, the group will work on en- couraging community members to shop local.
Black Hills & Badlands: Regional Sales Director Hayli Johnson: The April dashboard had positive statistics of 1.89% over last year at this time. The Black Hills & Badlands website has had a significant increase of 20% in traffic over the last year. Black Hills & Badlands has received 13,000 requests for travel magazines; tourism interest iscoming from a wide variety of areas. Coming up from Black Hills & Badlands will be the Travel Professionals Guide; this magazine is printed every two years and is good for tour groups.
Celebration Committee: Co-Chair Cheyenne McGriff: Preorders for t-shirts for the annual celebration was due to Niki Mohr by June 15. Everyone is encouraged to participate in the parade held Saturday, July 8. A People's Choice Award will be chosen during this year's parade. Volunteers are needed during the festivities.
Wall Economic Development Corporation: Director Cheyenne McGriff: Friday, June 23, will be Wall Ar- chery Day at the Wall Golf Course from 5 PM to 7 PM. The event will be free to all. Youth sized bows, arrows, and targets will be provided by the SD Game Fish & Parks. The Wall Field of Films project, taken on by Wall High School Senior Sierra Wilson, will have a grand opening date of July 6. Donations for the theater are being collected and an account has been set up at BHFCU. There are some new housing funds from the state that require information from the community. Cheyenne will be walking around town over the next month as part of a housing study to prepare for the funding opportunity. Mayor Marty Huether also added that the Wall City Council will be working with WEDC to accept proposals for housing development projects that could be placed on City owned property. Proposals can be submitted to WEDC. Cheyenne and City Finance Officer Carolynn Anderson will be starting an Everybody Walks! SD program. For more information everyone is encouraged to attend the information session that will be held Tuesday, June 20, at 5 PM in the Wall Community Center. Wall is currently taking part in a South Dakota DOT Small Community Transportation Planning Program which will take place throughout the summer. SD DOT employees are surveying the walkability, bike-ability and drivability of the community. There will be an open community meeting Monday, June 26, at 6 PM in the Wall Community Center. Everyone is encouraged to 'like' and 'share' the Wall Crawl Facebook page. The Wall Crawl Committee was seeking volunteers for the event. The next Wall Crawl meet- ing will be held on Friday, June 23, at 12 pm in the First Interstate Bank Basement.
City of Wall: Mayor Marty Huether: Sales tax for the year, as of May, is slightly less than the same period last year. However, the first half of May sales tax receipts for 2017 were $102,000 where as last year they were $49,000. The Wall Community Center remodel project is near completion and city offices are beginning to move into the re- modeled building. Marty complimented the contractors for their hard work and for staying so close to the estimated project cost. There has been interest in a Community Event Center. Mayor Huether feels the community could benefit from the opportunities an event center could offer. The project is still in the primary phases of planning and will be discussed more at the June 28 school board meeting.
Country Cupboard: Carol Hoffman: Country Cupboard has switched to summer hours which are Wednesdays from 9 am to 11 am and 5 pm to 7pm as well as Saturdays from 9 am to 11 am. The food pantry is asking for more donations in fresh produce.
First Interstate Bank: Janet Lurz: Janet introduced First Interstate Bank's new loan officer Chapman Ha.
Forest Service: Ranger Kurt Pindel: Because of opening one week later this year compared to previous years, visitation is down slightly for the month. Grouse hunting is going well in the area and blinds used for hunting have been very popular. Kurt warned that fire danger is high due to little precipitation in the area.
Golden West: Jody Bielmaier: Jody thanked everyone for working well with contractors as they install fiber as part of the "Fiber to Home" project. The Golden West Annual Meeting will be held in September. Golden West thanks all their customers for choosing their services.
MMNHS: Superintendent Eric Leonard: Visitation for the month of May was 11,560. Month over month, visitation is up 10% and up 24% for the year. Staff will be present at the Delta 9 site all day everyday throughout the busy season. Eric expressed the site's excitement for having booked all Delta 1 tours for the month of June. MMNHS is also excited to be offering a special program for veterans where the site will close the gates and will recreate proce- dures that were used when the missile was active.
Rodeo Booster Club: Mary Williams: An update has been made to the small arena at the Rodeo Grounds that made the fence match the fence of the big arena. June 3-5, Wall held the Regional High School Rodeo with 105 con- testants, which attracted roughly 1,000 people to the community. Wall won the Team Award and Emily Pauley won All Around Cowgirl. The Rodeo Booster Club wanted to thank all the motels and local businesses for informing guests of the rodeo. The upcoming celebration rodeo expects about 500 contestants. The Wall Rodeo has a very good reputation and is frequently complimented on how smoothly the events are run. There will also be a 4-H Rodeo held June 24 which will attract a lot of visitors to the community.
WREA: Dawn Hilgenkamp: The deadline for Operation Roundup applications is July 7. There are currently 3 open director positions for the WREA board in our district; anyone who would like to run for the board must pick up a petition and turn it in by the end of August.
Motion, made by Jonny with a second by Hayli, carried to adjourn meeting.