Wall-Badlands Area Chamber of Commerce Meeting Minutes Monday, March 13, 2017

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12:00pm Red Rock Restaurant

Meeting was called to order by President Jackie Kusser. Dawn Hilgenkamp led members in the Pledge of Alle-giance.

Jackie introduced and welcomed Kelsey Walter, the Chamber’s new Executive Director.

Motion, made by Jackie H. with a second by Jody, carried to approve the minutes of the February 13, 2017 minutes. Juanita presented a basic financial report.

Announcements were read.


Rick Hustead reported the city was dealing with property assessments and objections, with some dramatic increases being noted.


Cheyenne McGriff notified members there will be a Career Round-Table held at the Wall School at 2:00pm Monday, March 20, 2017. Local businesses are invited to meet with sophomore, junior and senior class students to inform them of what is available in possible career field choices.

Marketing Hometown America will hold an Action Forum on Friday, March 24, 2017, in the multi-purpose room at the Wall School. Fifty people from the community have been working on the project; this will bring all their info together.

Business Retention and Expansion visits will be conducted by Cheyenne throughout March.

WEDC has invited the SD Department of Ag and the Governor’s Office of Ec. Dev. to come to Wall to dis-cuss Value Added Ag opportunities on Monday, March 27, 2017, at 6:00pm at the WCC. Anyone interested in being part of this conversation should contact WEDC immediately.

The next WEDC Board meeting is Wednesday, March 22 at 7:00 pm at WREA.


Cheyenne McGriff: Job Fair at Philip School Fine Arts Bldg. Tuesday, March 28, 1:00 to 6:00pm.

Next BBR meeting, Tuesday, April 4, 6:00 pm in Philip. Location to be determined.


Cheyenne was happy to inform members that the I HATE WINTER bash was suc-cessful and fun. Also, the committee is striving to make the Annual July Celebration much more child-friendly; there will be a Kid Zone tent with a tractor pull, face painting, beanbag tournament, cake/cupcake walk, corn dig, archery and more. Vol-unteers are needed to run the gate and beer/liquor on Fri. and Sat. This year’s parade theme is “Celebrating Through The Decades.” Next meeting: Friday, March 31, 12pm at the Red Rock.

There will be a Roller Skating event on April 2 at the Powerhouse, with a free will donation. Nacho chips will be availa-ble.


Kelli Sundall: Sophomore, junior and senior class students will take part in a Career Round table event in Wall on March 20 that will initiate their interest in various available careers and prepare them for the BBR job fair in Philip on March 28. Grades three through eight and WHS juniors will compete in Smarter Balanced testing in April; sixth, seventh and eighth grades will be the week of April 10, fourth and 11th grades the week of April 18 and third grade will be the week of April 24. Track and golf are underway.


Christina Czazasky: Ben Reifel Visitor Center is open from 8am to 4pm, with hopes to extend in mid-April. There is a delay with staffing due to the hiring freeze. Funding has been received for wellness checks on the Bighorn Sheep. A group of 12 Youth Camp school students will be coming from New York City March 20.


Eric Leonard said visitation is picking up as they continue to attract record numbers of visitors. More than 133,000 visitors stopped by in 2016, and numbers have increased 118% since the site opened in 2014. Park staff led 1,656 tours of Delta-01, with 9,330 participants. Reservations for tours at Delta 1 MUST be made in advance online or by phone.


Kurt Pindel reported their hours, 8am to 4:30pm, will expand in mid-May. Numbers are on track with two years ago and were up last year. Grouse blinds are expanding. The Wolf Fire burned 2,510 acres and took the same shape as that of the Cottonwood Fire. He thanked the many volunteers who showed up to help and also said he could not answer questions because of attorney involvement.


Jody Bielmaier said GW’s Fiber To The Home Open House was very informative to local people in attendance and this new upgrade will improve service and greatly benefit the Wall, Quinn and Wasta areas. Campaign Up-grade, a Pay It Forward program, is underway; if you upgrade or add a new service, Golden West will donate $50 to the Wall Elementary School. There will be a six-month commitment required and GW will waive all installation fees.


Dawn Hilgenkamp: Christmas storm costs submitted to FEMA: Pennington County: $252,507 and Meade County: $84,518. May billing will see a $2.25 rate increase in the base charge for residential members; there will be no increase in the KWH charge. Commercial members will see an average increase in their base charge of $3.25 and there will also be an increase in the first 25 KW of demand in the amount of $2.75/KW. There will be no increase in the KWH charge.


Wendy Allison: No report


Janet Lurz: First Interstate/Greater Wall

Foundation Scholarship deadline is April 15; applications are available at the school. FIB/SD Banker’s Assoc. Scholarship applications are available online at; deadline is April 15. Artist of the month at the bank is Carla Brucklacher. During April, FIB will hold a “Teach Your Child To Save” piggy bank contest. Kids make their own pig-gy banks and display them at the bank.


Cheyenne McGriff: Toastmasters meets on the first and third Friday of each month, at 6:30am at WREA. Come check it out, no pressure to join.


Carol Hoffman. No report.


Mary Williams thanked the Chamber for all their support of local rodeos and reported on upcoming rodeo dates: WHS Practice Rodeo is May 13; WHS Regional Rodeo is June 2,3,4; Wall Celebration PRCA Ro-deo is July 6,7,8 and Play Days are July 13, 20, 27 and August 3.


Jonny Winn-Holsether: The library has recently received some very welcome donations and most heartedly thank the Ash, Huron, Lake Flat, Rainy Creek Cheyenne and Wasta Townships for their generous support. This will enable the library to keep our Summer Reading Program going, as well as allowing us to make other children’s activities as special as we can.


Hayli Johnson thanked Jackie K. for her help in making sure advertising was approved and finalized while the chamber was in the hiring process. The direct pop-up mailer is going to the Minneapolis and Omaha markets. Ex-ploring the Black Hills & Badlands Vacation Guide comes next; BH&B prints 300,000 to be distributed in the area. The SDVG gets visitors to SD and they pick up the Exploring Guide once they are here. There is also a convenient online interactive guide.

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Monday, April 10, 2017: 12:00 Noon Red Rock Restaurant

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