Read our meeting minutes here and learn more details about what the Chamber is set out to do. Meeting minutes are posted here after they have been approved by the membership. Usually this is at a meeting that is two months later.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
January 11, 2023
GP Community Center
Roll Call: Twelve individuals representing sixteen members were present. Scott Zizic (Bennet-Curtis House); Scott Dillman; Char Sims; Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-over Talent, GP Library); Bob Schurman (GP Historical Society, LBS Greenhouse); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, GP Garden Club); Tom Peterson; Susie Wiedl (TRAXX, Village of GP); Tina Rosenbrock; Gerry Morgan (Village of GP); Christine Wick (Wicks Bicycle Shop); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank)
President Gerry Morgan called the meeting to order @ 6:00pm. November minutes were approved and seconded by Scott Dillman and Bob Schurman.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason reported checking account balance of $6453.53. Deposits included $440.00 (Christmas in the Village), $213.00 (Raffle), $100.00 (Donation), $150.00 (Petty Cash-raffle), and $175.00 (Membership). All checks have cleared as of January 10, 2023. The savings account has a balance of $4407.91. Interest paid was $1.33. CD #1 has a balance of $2598.94 with interest earned of $11.41. This CD matured on January 3, 2023. Discussion was held regarding renewal. Midland has 4 specials currently. After discussing the specials, Char Sims made a motion to rollover the CD in to the 18 month special @ 3.29%. Connie Granger seconded the motion. CD #2 (Scholarship) has a balance of $2472.76. It matures in November 2023. CD #3 (Scholarship) has a balance of $2010.60 with interest earned of $5.31. Christmas in the Village had a profit of $917.00.
Library Report: Connie Granger – The library participated in Christmas in the Village and had a good turnout. Approximately 60 packages of free books were given to children and the coloring contest winners were posted. This month’s project is snowflake designs. Snowflakes will be designed and made to hang in the library or in homes. Valentine cards will be made for the Veterans Home. This is a co-project between the GP Library and the school librarian.
Village Report: Gerry Morgan – The Cabin Fever Reliever will be held February 11, 2023 at 4:00pm. Bingo begins at 4:00pm. Dinner starts at 5:00pm. USA Restaurant will be providing the food. KGB Band is playing at 8:00pm. There will also be face painting, raffles, ice cream, etc. Advertising will be via flyers and FB. Funds from the event go towards park improvement, festivals, etc. A “Community Outreach” committee has been formed. One goal is to have a Community Calendar of events for everyone to access so events in the community don’t overlap with each other.
Scholarship: Char Sims/Scott Dillman - There were two scholarship recipients last year. We can/will have four recipients this year.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger – Connie thanked the school for allowing the event to take place there. Connie also thanked Midland States Bank for Santa. The event was well attended. Thirty six crafters sent forms in, thirty one showed up for the event. Venders were pleased with sales. There were several raffles. The Historical Society raised $500+ with raffles. The GP Foundation raised $284.00 with the Horse and Sled. As stated in the treasurer’s report, the Christmas in the Village had a profit of $917.00. This year’s Chamber Craft Event will be held December 9, 2023.
Golf Outing: Rhonda Higgason - The date for the outing is tentatively set for May 6, 2023. Golf packages for both Minne Monesse and Cardinal Creek were discussed. Minne Monesse quoted $70/person for golf and dinner. Cardinal Creek quoted $50/person for golf and dinner for 50 people. For every 10 people over 50, it will be $1.00 less/person (60 people = $49.00/person, 70 people = $48.00/person). Questions were raised on the food included for dinner. Rhonda will check on the details. Connie Granger made the motion to go forward with Cardinal Creek if the information Rhonda gets is satisfactory and to have Rhonda make the decision. Scott Dillman seconded the motion.
Please let the chamber know if you wish to continue in 2023. There is a waiting list for the garden’s so please let the chamber know sooner than later. The GP Foundation is offering garden assistance again to those who wish to make the donation.
The proposed calendar of events was presented for review showing meetings and events, as known, coming in 2023. Near events include the Cabin Fever Reliever on February 11, 2023 and the next chamber meeting scheduled for March 8, 2023 at the Community Center.
The chamber has a member high of 52 members. Membership forms were passed out to those at the meeting. The forms will be emailed to those unable to attend.
The proposed budget for 2023 was reviewed.
Other items discussed were Christmas decorations - coil lights for the poles with the snowflakes and snowflake repairs, Polar Golf if we have any snow, and a Financial Group presentation on inheritance planning.
With no further discussion, Deb Morgan made the motion to adjourn with Scott Zizic seconding the motion. Meeting adjourned at 6:59pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
November 9, 2022
Roll Call: Fourteen individuals representing seventeen members were present. Scott Zizic (Bennett Curtis House); Scott Dillman; Chris Pickens (Compeer Financial); Connie Granger (Dennis Granger voiceover Talent, GP Library); Andrea Hendricks (Flanagan's Pub); Valgene Raloff (GP Historical Society, Village of GP); Bob Schurman ( GP Historical Society, LBS); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff (GP Library); Doug Graves (Graves Financial Services); Jerry Loitz (Loitz Rentals, GP CUSD #6); Tina Rosenbrock; Gerry Morgan (Village of GP); Sylvia Danahey (Village of GP); Rae Rae Pizza
President Gerry Morgan called the meeting to order at 6:15pm. Minutes for the September meeting were approved and seconded by Scott Dillman and Connie Granger.
Treasurer Report: Rhonda Higgason - The checking account has a balance of $7,064.53. Transactions include a deposit for the Christmas in the Village event of $220.00. All checks have cleared. The savings account has a balance of $4,406.58. Interest paid was $0.60. The CD balances are as follows: CD #1 has a balance of $2,587.53 with interest paid of $1.75. It matures on 01/03/2023. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $2,472.76 with interest paid of $11.10. CD #3 has a balance of $2,005.29.
School Report: Jerry Loitz - A school audit resulted on the school receiving the highest rating from the State of Illinois. The science lab will be renovated. A Grant will pay for half of the project. The security system is being upgraded. A Grant will pay for half of this as well. GP school district sports had a successful fall season.
Library Report: Kim Raloff - Mrs Clause will be visiting the library on December 3, 2022 from 10am-12pm to read stories to the children. Books are wrapped to give away at the Christmas in the Village event. The lights and air conditioner are on need of repair. The library exchange cabinet has been repaired.
Village Report: Sylvia Danahey - The GP sign is up at Love's. The village will have four trustee positions open for the April election. A multi use path to be done in May will be put up for bid in January. The "Safeway to School" grant will pay for the school path on Esson Farm Rd. The library has three positions open for the board. The school board also has three positions open.
Government Affairs: Doug Graves - We have survived the midterm election, however it may be sometime before we have the entire outcome. If we end up with divided congressional chambers, we can probably look forward to a congress which gets very little accomplished. I am personally chagrined that in the election campaigning, rather than candidates presenting their views and solutions for our national problems, they resort to demonizing and demeaning their opponents.
Public Relations: Deb Morgan - The daily journal had an article about GP reflecting what is happening in the village; improvements, events, etc. Christmas in the village flyers are done.
Membership: Our current membership is now at 45.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger/Kim Raloff - The flyer is done. There are 16 vendors at the moment. Raffles will be held our the event.
Valgene Raloff reported on the village board news. Business Licenses will be enforced going forward. The board also updated the regulations and definitions of the licenses. The license fees depend on the number of employees. There will be a public hearing regarding the business license enforcement.
Membership Fee: Discussion was held on options for the membership fees. Do we have separate fees for active members and inactive members? It was asked that members come up with some options/ideas for the membership fees to discuss at the January meeting.
Flanagan's is hosting a free Thanksgiving meal from 11am-2pm on Thanksgiving day.
With no further business to discuss, Scott Dillman motioned to adjourn. Deb Morgan seconded the motion. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 6:51pm.
THANK YOU to Flanagan's and Rae Rae's for hosting and for dinner.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
September 14, 2022
Roll Call: Twenty individuals representing eighteen members were present. Scott Zizic (Bennet-Curtis house); Cara Lipinski (Cara Lipinski Caldwell Banker Realty); Scott Dillman; Char Sims; Chrissy Pickens (Compeer Financial); Colton Ekhoff; Dennis Granger (Granger Voice Over Talent); Flanagan's Pub (Andrea Hendricks); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation & GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff (GP Library); Amy Shronts (GP Library); Connie Granger (GP Library); Doug Graves (Graves Financial Services); Tom Peterson (Sweet Corn Kings); Susie Wiedl (Traxx & Village of GP); Tina Rosenbrock; Gerry Morgan (Village of GP); Sylvia Danahey (Village of GP); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Rich Shronts
New members were introduced. Chrissy Pickens of Compeer Financial Cooperative and Aaron Samp, AG Loans
President Gerry Morgan called the meeting to order at 6:15 as we were eating TRAXX pizza . Sylvia Danahey moved to approve the July minutes. Rich Shronts seconded. Motion carried.
Treasurers Report: Rhonda Higgason reported the checking account currently has a balance of $7,094.53 with one outstanding check to the GP Historical Society in the amount of $250.00. Deposits include a $100.00 membership fee and $120.00 for the Christmas in the Village. The savings account currently has a balance of $4,405.98. CD Scholarship #1 has a balance of $2,461.66 with interest credited in the amount of $1.50. CD scholarship #2 has a balance of $2,005.29 with interest credited in the amount of $5.29. CD #3 has a balance of $2,586.55 and matures on 10/3/2022. There was a discussion of possible expenses in order to make a decision on what to do with the maturing CD. Rhonda informed the members of the 3 month special being offered at Midland. After discussion of expenses, and the CD special, Colton Ekhoff made the motion to put the CD in the 3 month special with Connie Granger seconding. Motion carried.
Library Report: The library and Midland States Bank are teaming up to do an Identity Theft Presentation. The program will be held on September 21st @ 10:00am. The library is continuing it's monthly programs as well. This month's theme is Halloween. Canning will be coming soon. Each month's theme will be posted on the LED sign as well as the library. Sadly, the lending library was vandalized. It will be fixed.
Village Report: The GP Fest will be held on Saturday and Sunday, September 17-18. Activities include bingo, bands, fireworks, lighted parade, cake walk, photo op, food vendors, car show, burn out, face painting, petting zoo, kids train, and bike ride. The theme is "Beach Party". Donations and volunteers are still needed. The Historical Society Golf Outing is also the 17th. The village has hired two new part-time police officers, 9000 rd is complete, and new signs are being installed.
Government Affairs: Midterm elections are coming up in November. VOTE!
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
July 13, 2022,
USA Restaurant Dinner Meeting
Roll Call: Thirteen individuals representing fifteen members were present. Char Sims; Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voiceover Talent, GP Library); Dennis Granger (Dennis Granger Voiceover); Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical Society, LBS Greenhouse); Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6, Loitz Rentals); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, GP Garden Club); Amy Shronts (GP Library); Douglas Graves (Graves Financial Services, Inc.); Rich Shronts, George Reyes (USA Restaurant); Sylvia Danahey (Village of Grant Park); Gerry Morgan; Christine Wick (Wick’s Bicycle Shop.
The meeting was called to order by President Gerry Morgan at 6:15 pm. Connie Granger moved to approve the May minutes, seconded by Bob Schurman. Motion approved.
New members Wick’s Bicycle Shop and DC Detailing were mentioned. Sylvia Danahey, new trustee for the Village, was introduced.
Treasurers Report: Rhonda Higgason via submitted report that the checking account currently has a balance of $7,124.53. There was a check to the post office for $58. Deposits totaled $200.00. Those deposits were from dues paid. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.98. CD #1 has a balance of $2,586.55 and matures on October 3, 2022. This CD is currently a three-month term. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $2,461.04 and matures on July 17, 2022. CD #3 has a balance of $2,000 and matures November 17, 2022.
School Report: Jerry Loitz reported that the parking lot has been patched and the is an upgrade to the field. The Middle School office upgrades. There is a slight increase in enrollment. The ACT average score is the highest it has been in five years. The Shadowing program for career discovery was slowed down by COVID. The District finished with a balanced budget for the eleventh year in a row.
Library Report: Amy said that the Library carpets were cleaned and the Summer Reading Program is finishing this week. Have been doing a Community Scavenger Hunt and had wonderful participation from the businesses. Each month we hope to have something to encourage participation.
Village Report: The village is planning the Grant Park Fest which is scheduled for September 17th & 18th. Possibly the village is buying the Gilliam building as the current Village Hall is very cramped. About ten years ago the Village purchased the land east of the police station for a possible Village Hall Police Station but that would cost more than a million dollars so a building that costs less than $200,000 would be a bargain.
Governmental Affairs: Douglas Graves: He was concerned that congress has abrogated its responsibility for making laws. Was dismayed that the country is fractured.
Business and Economic Affairs: Char Sims: Nothing to report.
Membership: we currently have forty-one returning and new members.
Scholarship: Char Sims and Scott Dillman: The Chamber was able to award two five-hundred-dollar scholarships this year and the awardees are Hunter Romanowski who is interested in being a pilot and Andi Dotson who is believed to be interested in nursing.
Public Relations: Dennis reported that there is a Foundation video about the gazebo completion at Legion Park. The Gazebo Opening is scheduled for August 5th from 6 to 9. KGB will be playing, Bennett-Curtis will have a food trailer there. Bring chairs and BYOB and enjoy the evening.
Internal Affairs: Dennis had nothing to report.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger said she has the first vendor form back. It is from the Historical Society. Just waiting for more to arrive.
The CD #2 is due on Sunday. There was a discussion of I-Bonds which are available through the Treasury Department with a return of over 9% and about the possibilities of investments and the CD’s that Midland offers at present. Amy Shronts moved that the CD funds be moved to an 18 month 1.79 -1.80 yield. The amount to be $2,500. Seconded by Jerry Loitz. Motion approved.
It is suggested that we follow up with information and more discussion concerning I-Bonds.
There was a discussion concerning a contribution to the Grant Park Fest. Amy Shronts moved to contribute $250. Seconded by Connie Granger. Motion Approved.
There was a discussion concerning a contribution to the Grant Park Area Historical Society Golf Outing. Christine Wick moved to donate $250 to the Historical Society. Seconded by Sylvia Danahey. Motion Approved.
There was some discussion about mutual benefits since the two share the date of September 17th. Such as Fest Beer Tokens or Bingo Card discounts. This will be firmed up for the September meeting. The Golf outing registration begins at 11:00 with a shotgun start at 12:00 and dinner at 5:00.
The Next Chamber meeting is scheduled for September 14th with the location to be determined closer to the meeting. Traxx has expressed an interest in providing pizza for the meeting.
Jim Rowe is planning to have a movie night at Heldt Park on September 9th.
Thanks to George for dinner with dessert!
Dennis moved to adjourn, Seconded by Jerry. Motion approved. Meeting ended at 7:00 PM.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
March 9, 2022,
Grant Park Community Center
Roll Call: Ten individuals representing 14 members were present. Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House), Scott Dillman; Char Sims; Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voiceover Talent, GP Library); Bob Schurman (GP Historical Society, LBS Greenhouse); Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6, Loitz Rentals); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, GP Garden Club); Tina Rosenbrock; Gerry Morgan (Village of GP); Rhonda Higgason (Midland).
The meeting was called to order by President Gerry Morgan at 6:05 pm. Bob Schurman moved to approve the January minutes, seconded by Deb Morgan. Motion approved.
Treasurers Report: Rhonda Higgason reported the checking account currently has a balance of $6,594.53. There are no outstanding checks. Deposits totaled $1,500.00. Those deposits were from dues paid. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.64. CD #1 has a balance of $2,583.36 and matures on April 3, 2022. This CD is currently a 12-month term. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,455.91 and matures on May 17, 2022. This CD is currently a 16-month term. Scott Dillman moved to renew the CD for three months, seconded by Bob Schurman. Motion approved.
School Report: Jerry Loitz reported that the District was notified that it is in the top hundred school districts in Illinois for the sixth year in a row. One of the smallest districts and the sixth year in a row is exceptional. Thanks to the students, staff, and parents for this even during COVID. Looking to increase enrollment. There are calls from outside residents who wish to attend but the District does not wish to do this. Dr. Palan is willing to work with the Chamber on publicity for the Village. The play is scheduled for this weekend. Graduation is scheduled to take place as past ones. The District is out of E-learning days as there is a limit to how many can be used. They can have five in a year.
Library Report: Connie said that the Library started with a “blind date” where we wrapped book and patrons would pick one not knowing what it was. In March we are doing March madness. Where we have two different authors paired and you vote on which one beginning with sixteen then eight and so on down to a final.
Village Report: The village is in budget season for FY23. The revenue budget is substantially completed. Departmental allocations were discussed. Each department will receive their allocations soon. Scott swore in Tim Agee as a full-time officer and Adam Blaskey as a part time officer. We are struggling with a final easement for the path to Casey's but as soon as we have that, it will be sent out to bid. We are looking at resurfacing 9000 and will consult with the village engineer for a long-term solution. Branch pick-up will begin April 3rd, weather pending. The fest committee will be recommending possible dates for the festival soon. The gazebo project was discussed.
Business and Economic Affairs: Char Sims: A new restaurant will be opening - it is an Irish Pub and will be called Flanagan's. Traxx has new owners - Susie Wiedl and Steven Smith. A new bicycle shop has opened. Wick's Bicycle Shop repairs and sells bikes. They will possibly begin organizing rides and expanding.
Membership: we currently have 32 returning and new members with four more possible members.
Scholarship: Char Sims and Scott Dillman: the school is curious about how many scholarships will be given and the amounts of those scholarships.
Golf Outing: Colton Ekhoff and Susie Wiedl will not be able to organize the outing this year.
Scholarship: Four Options were sent to members to be voted on for this year, and following year’s scholarship program. Option #3 received the most votes. Option 3 stated, "increase the number of $500.00 awards from four to five or six based on available scholarship funds in March of each year. Again reserving $2,000.00 for the next year. Other requirements to remain the same." Scott Dillman moved to hold the number of scholarships for 2022 to four as no golf outing is planned. Seconded by Connie Granger. Motion approved. This year the Chamber will offer four scholarships of $500.
Membership certificates were handed out to those at the meeting.
LED sign: If you would like something to be displayed on the sign, send an email to the chamber. Send your request to email@example.com.
With a better outlook on COVID, meals could possibly be reinstated at the meetings. The next meeting will possibly be held at the Bennett Curtis House on May 11th. It is an election meeting. Scott Zizic is the election chair. Please let him know if you are interested in an officer position.
The “Easter” Bunny will be at the Community Center on April 10th from 12-2.
GP Foundation project: Restoring the gazebo: received a $3,000.00 grant for pollinating plants. Those plants have been ordered and will come in June. The gazebo is badly decomposed. Plans for a concrete floor to be handicap accessible and a patio to the west half way to Meadow are in the works, along with many other plans.
Char Sims made the motion to adjourn with Scott Zizic seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, January 13, 2022,
Community Center at Legion Park
Roll Call: Seven individuals representing eight members were present: Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-Over/GP Public Library); Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical Society/LBS Greenhouse); Jerry Loitz (Grant Park CUSD #5/Loitz Rentals); Amy Shronts (Grant Park Public Library); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Rich Shronts, and W. Gerry Morgan.
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm by President Gerry Morgan. Amy Shrontz made a motion to approve the November 10, 2021, meeting minutes, seconded by Bob Schurman. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason reported that currently the checking account balance is $5,094.53 with one outstanding scholarship check of $500. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.64 with interest of .11 and a total of interest for 2021 of 41 cents. CD #1 has a balance of $2,583.36 with interest of $2.28 and a total of interest for 2021 of $9.01. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,451.99 with a total of interest for 2021 of $17.05.
School Report: Jerry Loitz reported applied for a $50,000 Maintenance Grant and we got it. It is going to be used to redo the science lab. Also applied for sc funding for $100,000 grant which will be used for Smartboards and virtual learning.
Library Report: Amy Shronts reported that they did well with giving away books at Christmas in the Village. They were books that they didn’t need anymore and the kids really enjoyed receiving them. The Board is now at full capacity with the last member appointed to fill that vacancy. The front windows have been replaced by the Village and the Board is very grateful. The old windows were old and rattled when trains came through as well as leaked air. They have been reorganizing the space in the library and making it less cluttered. Summer reading programs will be in place. The water heater also needed to be fixed.
Village Report: Gerry Morgan reported that the Village is concerned about cybersecurity and that governmental agencies are experiencing problems with this. That hackers enter systems and block access to programs and data and require ransom payments to allow access. We wished to become insured for this and our consortium took a look at our situation and said that there was no way they would insure our current status. As a result, we have changed our Internet supplier so that there is access at the Village Hall and separately at the Police Station with improved download and upload
capacity. The Police Station has more individuals that may be using the Internet at the same time, so their service has more capacity than the Village Hall which usually only has two persons at any one time accessing the Internet. The server at the Police Station will be reconfigured in the next week with improved protections. Firewall equipment has been installed at both locations. Jason, our technician, will be creating a secure site for Village email users. This secure site will require multifactor authentication (MFA) before a person can access their email. Because the insurance consortium has been kept up to date as to our progress, they are allowing us to be insured for cyberattacks. The consortium has hired a consulting agency that will provide an analysis of our system to see if we have any deficiencies. As they identify these, we will work toward removing them.
Government Affairs: No report.
Business & Economic Affairs: No report.
Public Relations: No report
Internal Affairs: No report.
Membership: We have had a few people that have renewed their membership for 2022 and forms are in the packets for your organizations.
Scholarship: Our scholarship winners have all completed their first term and sent us their first semester transcript. The 2021 awards have gone to Travis Fick, Emily Kveck, Clayton McKinstry, and Paige Sherwood. All four have been sent checks for the $500. One of the things that we will need to confer with the Scholarship Committee is that we have stated in the past that these awards are for junior college or trade school attendance but this time three of the four went to regular four year universities such as Southern Illinois at Carbondale, Bradley University of Peoria and the third to a similar institution. The fourth did attend Joliet Junior College. So, we either need to change our policy/statement about this or change what is in the materials applicants see or respond to for the committee selection.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger thanked the school for allowing us to have it there as it worked out very well. We had thirty-five vendors sign up and thirty-three showed up as we had a bad storm where some of them live and they couldn’t come. One had a tree fall on her truck. Several were unhappy with us putting out the letter from the state about this kind of tax situation. But we do have to comply with the law and report their presence at the event. Everything worked out well. Kim was a big help with the show. We plan to keep things the same next year. The tentative date is December 11th. Christmas in the Village brought in $745 for vendors, $255 for the raffle, $15.25 for coffee, and an $80 deposit from the cash box. This came to $1,095.25
Subtracting the $100 we started with in the cash box we made $995.25. We had $100 plus for advertising so $800.25 is the end result. We had a good time. The Library got rid of a lot of books and the kids had a good time with their activity. The bank had a great Santa this year.
1. Garden sponsors are asked to let us know if they are going to continue in 2022. We do have one garden that has changed sponsors. The Foundation will provide gardening/weeding services again as a fund raiser as well as implement their gPark Ranger program.
2. Proposed meeting calendar was presented. It is subject to revisions. Locations are not entered as there may be an opportunity for catering. The Historical Society golf outing will be in September. Ocktober fest is in the process of seeing what this year’s event will be as well as when it will be. The Fest Committee has decided not to have a Cabin Fever Reliever in February. CITV will end at 2:00.
3. Possible changes in the Scholarship Award were reviewed so that when the actual voting takes place, we have covered the four possible ideas that are now on the ballot. Ballots will be emailed to everyone for a response prior to the next meeting and those who have not voted will have the opportunity before the March 9th meeting.
4. LED sign access: We are in the process of getting members onto the sign. Currently Gerry & Dennis have had the training to add pages to the sign. Members have the opportunity to ask for different things to be put on the sign to advertise their business or organization. Members can send their requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. The idea is that Chamber members paid for the sign so that is why Chamber members can be advertised on the sign.
5. Membership: We will be sending Membership forms to everyone as well as passing them out at this meeting. Members can pay with cash, check or PayPal is a possibility, too. The form can be emailed to the gmail.com account if PayPal is used. Forms and payment can also be dropped off at Connie’s house.
Calendar of Events:
The next meeting is scheduled for March 9th at 6:00 PM at the Community Center.
Motion was made to adjourn by Rhonda with Jerry seconding the motion. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 6:37 PM.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Community Center at Legion Park
Roll Call: Eleven individuals representing fourteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Scott Dillman; Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice- Over/GP Public Library); Douglas Graves (Graves Financial); Jerry Loitz (Grant Park CUSD #6/Loitz Rentals); Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical Society/LBS Greenhouse); Kim Raloff (Grant Park Public Library); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP/GP Garden Club); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Robin Bruni (Village of Grant Park); and W. Gerry Morgan.
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm by President Gerry Morgan. Douglas Graves made two changes in the September minutes and then Bob Schurman made a motion to approve the September 15, 2021, meeting minutes as amended, seconded by Scott Zizic. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason reported that currently the checking account balance is $7,433.28. All checks have cleared. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.53. CD #1 has a balance of $2,581.80. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,451.99.
School Report: Jerry Loitz reported that they received some really big news that U.S. News and World Reports said that the Grant Park schools are in the top 25% of schools in the nation. Reading proficiency and comprehension are up. One of the best in Kankakee County. COVID cases have been going down. Pink Night raised over $14,000. High School Volleyball team made it to regional finals. The Softball team won regionals. Golfers got third in state. Soccer team won conference and regionals.
Library Report: Kim Raloff reported that the new windows will be installed in the near future following a deposit that needs to be sent to the vendor. She also reported that there are some secret projects.
Village Report: Robin Bruni reported that the Village has purchased a new snowplow truck with salt spreader that should be in the Village before the snow begins. The new sidewalk on the east of the Village has been approved by the State and lighting has been added to the original plan. There is an easement that has not been approved as yet. Hopefully we will be able to go out for bids early as earlier bids are usually lower.
Government Affairs: Douglas Graves reported that both parties seem to think that compromise is a sign of weakness, so they don’t do it. Apparently, the Infrastructure bill has been passed and we will probably see some money from that. Illinois seems to discourage businesses from locating here.
Business & Economic Affairs: No report.
Public Relations: Deb Morgan reported that a flyer had been made for Christmas in the Village that indicates USA will have coffee and cocoa and Traxx will have soup and cocoa. This will be posted at the Post Office, USA, and the Village Hall. Coffee will be available at CITV.
Internal Affairs: Mentioned the note about Special Unit Tax Unit.
Membership: Loves Travel Stop is now a member of the Chamber. Several of us attended the ribbon cutting ceremony and Connie & Gerry gave them a Member Certificate.
Scholarship: No report.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger reported that we are a go for the school and the elementary school students will decorate the hall. The National Honor Society will have some volunteers available early in the morning to assist vendors with moving things into their space. They won’t be available at the end because they will be decorating for the prom that is scheduled for that night. Momence Progress Reporter will be putting an ad in the paper with pictures. There will be no window painting this year because of COVID concerns but we should return to doing that next year. Connie will be glad to sign Community Service forms for kids who come to assist.
1. LED Sign wiring should be installed in the next week with the sign following a week or so after that. After the sign is installed and powered up, programmers will be able to complete their training with Electro-Matic trainers. Prior to this final training session, the current programmers have taken part in twenty-one on-line video sessions. Things should appear on the sign soon after that.
2. Chamber Scholarships were discussed. Colton would like to see dollar amounts the same, just add more kids. Scott Dillman would like to keep a cap on the $2,000 a year so that if we don’t make our goal we won’t go under. Scott Zizic said to only offer what we have at the time maintaining $2,000 for the next year. We will put together a ballot to review in January and then send to members for a vote.
Kankakee County Enterprise Zone for Residences. Scott Dillman presented the concept that the current Enterprise Zone is exploring extending the zone for improving residential development. Possibly governmental units can make building houses easier and cut back on costs of permits and abate property taxes for four or five years or make them prorated over that time span.
Calendar of Events:
1. Christmas in the Village will be December 11th at the Elementary School.
2. Christmas Day, Inc. will be at the Community Center on December 25th with in person eating this year. All are welcome to volunteer or just to come and eat.
Motion was made to adjourn by Deb with Connie seconding the motion. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 6:44 pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, September 15, 2021,
Community Center at Legion Park
Roll Call: Eleven individuals representing fourteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Cara Lipinski (Coldwell Banker Reality); Scott Dillman; Char Sims; Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-Over/GP Public Library); Douglas Graves (Graves Financial); Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical Society/LBS Greenhouse); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP/GP Garden Club); Robin Bruni (Village of Grant Park); Rich Shronts, and W. Gerry Morgan.
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm by President Gerry Morgan. Bob Shurman made a motion to approve the July 14, 2021, meeting minutes, seconded by Scott Dillman. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason relayed the Treasurer’s report and currently the checking account balance is $7,172.18. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.42. CD #1 has a balance of $2,577.8.1 CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,448.06.
School Report: John Palan submitted a report to be read as follows:
1. Grant Park District #6 has presented a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year. This will be the tenth consecutive year in which the district has presented a budget with no deficits. 2. Grant Park School District #6 added the position of Math Interventionist/Specialist who will be assisting students K-8 in enforcing and learning critical math skills. The position is paid from a grant that was successfully submitted last year and is not funded by local tax dollars. The position is aimed at helping students who lost necessary mathematical skills during the pandemic and/or shut down.
3. Please keep your eyes out for a new "GP" Victory Light that will be installed on the exterior wall of the Main Gym. New tradition is being started here every time a GP team wins an event, we will light the GP Victory Light to signal to the entire community the most recent accomplishment.
Library Report: Connie reported that the Historical Society had thanked the Library for their donation. The library donation of kids’ books to Oktoberfest was well received. The front door doesn’t close right, and Scott says that the set screw needs adjusting. There was approval from the Village Board to replace the front windows and hopefully they will be replaced soon.
Village Report: Robin Bruni reported that Oktoberfest went very well as it was a spectacular weekend and no negativity. There may be a name change in the future as the early September dates are a bit far from traditional Oktoberfest dates and our activities are not as Oktoberfest related. They have been looking into the possibility of adding Wi-Fi to the Community Center and improving the Internet connection to the Police Station, Village Hall and Maintenance Building. Currently waiting for communication from XL-Broadband. They are interested in installing a new type of system and are proposing that we pay for the equipment and service will be free at the Community Center with 100 mbps service. They did want access to the police tower, too. The Village is interested in eventually being able to video and stream the Board Meetings from the Community Park Building. The Village received a grant for $169,000 to be used to relive covid stress on people, businesses or to improve storm sewers or broadband. The LED sign is moving ahead.
Government Affairs: Douglas wished to vent his frustration about various levels of government. He suggested a benevolent dictatorship be the prime type of government we should have and rethink the Constitution to have a four-year term for representatives. In December 2017 they reduced tax rates and increased the deficit. That was republicans and now the democrats want to raise the corporate income tax and raise the top levels of personal income tax. It seems we are at odds here with a lot of animosity between the parties. At the state level the State decided to change their software resulting in changing passwords and two-step verification. This is Small Business Week time.
Business & Economic Affairs: Char reported that TRAXX has sold and was purchased by Susie Wield and Steve Smith. Organization is Smiedle but will do business as TRAXX. Becker’s also sold to a person who was at Oktoberfest. The person who will run it is a local resident. Another business coming to town is the Wicks Bicycle Shop (Christine & Matt) at the previous Flowers & Stones Building.
Public Relations: Cleaning up after Oktoberfest and sent some pictures to Progress Reporter.
Internal Affairs: Mentioned the note about Special Unit Tax Unit.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger continues to talk with Dr. Palan regarding having it at the school, but the Community Center is reserved as a back-up plan. Vendors continue to sign up so we are moving ahead with having it on December 11th.
1. Membership next year. Scott moved that we return to membership fees as previously charged. Seconded by Connie and Cara. Motion approved.
Scholarship Awards: There was a discussion about possibly changing the scholarship allocation either by giving more money or giving more scholarships. We should look at the budget to see what is available. Also mentioned was a possible follow up for the second year for an individual. Also suggested was continuing based on GPA of the student. Also mentioned was making sure that we have several years of funding in case there is a bad year with fundraising for the scholarship. After considerable discussion it was decided to continue this discussion in November and finalize in January for 2022.
Christmas Day, Inc.: Bob Schurman commented that no one should be home alone at Christmas, and it isn’t so much about being needy. Scott moved to donate $100. Seconded by Scott. Motion approved.
Illinois Special Events Unit: This unit is a part of the Illinois Department of Revenue. Vendors who go to events like Christmas in the Village have not been registering with the Department and have not paid income tax. So, this department is trying to crack down on these who are not paying or registering as they should be. We are now required to send a list of our Vendors to this Unit, or we will be fined $250. This year we will be giving Vendors a notice about this and we will add this to the application next year.
Calendar of Events: Historical Golf Outing is this Saturday 9/18/2021 and good weather is predicted. Bob noted that this is their only official fundraiser. They just tuck-pointed the chimney at the school.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 10th at 6:00 PM at the Community Center.
Motion was made to adjourn by Connie with Scott Zizic seconding the motion. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 7:07 pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Wednesday, July 14, 2021, Meeting Minutes
GP Fire Protection Department
Roll Call: Ten individuals representing thirteen members were present: Scott Dillman; Colton Ekhoff; Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical Society/LBS Greenhouse); Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6/Loitz Rentals); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP/GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff (GP Public Library); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-Over); Tina Rosenbrock; W. Gerry Morgan.
The meeting was called to order at 6:02pm by President Gerry Morgan. Connie Granger made a motion to approve the May 12, 2021, meeting minutes, seconded by Deb Morgan. Motion carried.
Secretary Tina Rosenbrock read a “Thank You” letter received from Travis Fick, Chamber scholarship recipient.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason reported a checking account balance of $7,537.18. All checks have cleared. Golf outing expenses were $4,875.09. Total deposits were $4,046.55 between membership fees and the golf outing. The savings account has a balance of $4,405.42 with earned interest of $0.11. CD #1 has a balance of $2,578.81 with earned interest of $2.25. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,444.18.
School Report: Jerry Loitz reported the school district has building projects going on this summer. Projects include tile, landscaping, and a GP sign mounted on the school. Banners for the gym have been ordered. Full in-person learning will resume for the 21-22 school year, within CDC guidelines. The district has hired a math assistant for the students to get them caught up.
Library Report: Kim Raloff stated the summer reading program is underway. July 24th will be the ending program, awards will be presented. There were 25 participants. The board will be meeting with Doug and Nick Gore of Sharper Homes to discuss, and get quotes, for replacing the windows. A new hot water heater also needs to be purchased and installed.
Village Report: Gerry Morgan detailed projects the village has completed which include asphalt paving behind the community center and drainage projects. Engineering is done for a wide walking path to just past Casey’s. The village received a grant from the state in the amount of $400,000. The walking path will be paid for with that grant. The project cannot start until after January 1, 2022. Love’s say they are aiming to be completed by Labor Day. The current restaurants slated to be in the Love’s is Chester’s Chicken and Godfather Pizza. This could change before the station is completed.
Membership: We currently have 38 members. The 2021-2022 membership booklet was passed out to those present.
Scholarship: Scott Dillman reported everything is completed until next year. The Thank You letter was again mentioned.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger and Kim Raloff announced they have 5 vendors already signed up. Also, A & G Pizza will be present again this year. The date is December 11th. The theme is Toyland. Connie will be speaking with Dr. Palan regarding painting the windows, whether or not to do them this year.
Electronic sign update: Two quotes have been received for the sign. Both quotes are around $30,000.00. Information regarding the sign will be presented to the board next week. The sign will be by the police station.
Circle Garden Extension: More people/businesses have an interest in doing a circle garden. Discussion was held on whether to extend the gardens to the other side of the street, across from the post office and Midland States Bank. Discussion was tabled with more to follow.
Do we want to do an additional fundraiser in 2022, possibly another golf cart raffle? Discussion was held on whether to change the wording on future fundraisers to include both the scholarship and chamber events/projects/donations.
The Historical Society’s annual golf outing will be held on September 18th at Minne Monesse. The Historical Society will be grilling lunch themselves with a buffet after the outing. The price had not changed in several years so it was decided to change it from $80.00 to $90.00 this year. They are asking for a donation from the Chamber. Colton Ekhoff made the motion to donate $250.00 with Scott Dillman seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Octoberfest will be held September 10-12, 2021. It will be scaled down this year but the fireworks and the lighted parade will be done, and bands will be performing. They are also asking for a donation. Scott Dillman made the motion to donate $250.00 with Kim Raloff seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Motion was made to adjourn by Colton Ekhoff with Jerry Loitz seconding the motion. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 6:49pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Zoom Meeting Minutes
May 12, 2021
Roll Call: Thirteen individuals representing fourteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Cara Lipinski (Coldwell Banker); Scott Dillman; Sue Dillman; Valgene Raloff (GP Historical Society); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP and GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff (GP Library); Doug Graves (Graves Financial Services); Connie Granger; Dennis Granger (Dennis Granger Vocie-Over); Char Sims; Gerry Morgan; Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank)
The meeting was called to order at 6:05 pm by President Gerry Morgan. Cara Lipinski made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Dennis Granger. Motion approved.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason reported a checking balance of $8,365.72. Deposits included membership fees, golf outing fees/sponsorships, and PayPal. Expenses included PO Box fee and stamps. And a transfer was made from the checking account to the savings account. There are no outstanding checks. The savings has a balance of $4,405.31. CD 1 has a balance of $2,576.56 and CD 2 has a balance of $4,444.18.
School Report: Gerry Morgan read Dr. Palan’s report which stated that the school has been back to full day school for a month. The academic Signing Day will be held next Friday, May 21st. The school district ended the fiscal year with a balanced budget.
Village Report: Gerry Morgan reported the end of the fiscal year for the village was April 30th and the year was ended with a balanced budget. The village received “CURES” funds of $55,308 for Covid Relief expenditures.
Government Affairs: Congress is at odds all the time, which poses the question, “How does congress get anything done?”
Golf Outing: Information about the outing, as well as information on how to sponsor, is on the Chamber Website. The outing will be on June 5th. Dennis Granger will be taking pictures at the event. Volunteers are needed. We are doing well on sponsorships so far.
Membership: We currently have 37 out of the 40 members from last year.
Scholarship: We received 10 scholarship applications, which is four more than last year. It is unclear whether we will be able to present the scholarship to the recipient during the awards program.
Christmas in the Village: We will be able to hold the event in the school as long as proper safety guidelines are being followed.
Library: Board members are doing spring cleaning, maintenance, and painting at the library. The Summer Reading Program will start soon.
The golf outing has made money so far.
“Meet the Candidates” was able to be held. Thirty people were there in person, while over three hundred watched the video available to them on YouTube.
The Circle Gardens are complete. The GP Foundation is helping care for many of the gardens with G-Park Rangers weeding on Thursdays.
Four Scholarships were given last year and there will be four this year as well.
Octoberfest profit was $5,000.00 in 2020 with a raffle and only expenses for the raffle prize and Parade Prizes.
The GP Historical Society will be holding a golf outing again this year and are asking for sponsors. This is their only source of income. The GP Historical Society hours of operation are the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month from 9:30am to 11:30am.
GP Foundation: funds donated to it or earned from projects from January 1st to June 1st will be matched on June 1st by an anonymous benefactor.
Election: Scott Zizic made the motion to have current officers keep their positions held for one more year. Scott Dillman seconded the motion. Motion approved.
On June 1st, a new booklet for the Chamber will begin getting printed by the Progress Reporter. The books will hopefully be out by July 14th.
Calendar of Events: The next meeting will be held on July 14th. Hopefully the meeting will be in person. Place is TBD. The officer’s meeting will be held June 24th via Zoom.
With no further business to discuss, Connie Granger made the motion to adjourn and Tina Rosenbrock seconded the motion. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 6:52pm
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
March 10, 2021
Roll Call: Twenty persons representing seventeen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Colton Ekhoff; Dan Ekhoff (DTE Construction & Foam Tech Industries); Valgene Raloff (GP Area Historical Society/Museum); Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6 & Loitz Rentals); Matt Shronts & Rich Shronts (GP Fire Protection District); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP & GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff & Amy Shronts (GP Public Library); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Dennis Granger & Connie Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-Over Talent); Scott Dillman; Tina Rosenbrock; Susie Wiedl (Traxx Sports Bar & Village of GP); W. Gerry Morgan; Marty Roth (Village President); Jim Rowe (Guest); Jamie Hawkins (Guest)
The meeting was called to order at 6:00pm by President Gerry Morgan. Connie Granger made a motion to approve the minutes for January 12, 2021, meeting, seconded by Colton Ekhoff. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: The current balance in the checking account is $5,628.92 with no outstanding checks. Deposits made include membership dues of $825.00. The balance in the savings account is $2,405.23. CD #1 has a balance of $2,574.34 with a maturity date of April 3, 2021. CD #2 (Scholarship) has a balance of $4,440.35 with interest of $5.41 posted on January 15, 2021. This CD matures on May 17, 2022.
School Report: Jerry Loitz, school board member: Teachers and staff are fully vaccinated. A meeting is scheduled to work out logistics to re-open the school for full days beginning April 6, 2021. The school district received a perfect score, 4.0, for budget, etc. Holly Onions took over Dave Dickson’s spot on the school board. There are 4 seats open.
Village Report: Marty Roth, Village President: Loves applied for the building permit and is supposed to break ground next month. The village is looking at equipment for public works.
Library: Kim Raloff: The library is working on its summer reading program. The theme is Art. One person is still needed for the board. The library is operating under normal business hours.
Membership: Colton Ekhoff: Membership forms were sent out last month. Please return the forms as soon as possible.
Golf Outing: The Golf Outing is June 5, 2021. It will be held at Minne Monesse. Instead of Cubs/Sox raffle tickets, there will be a raffle for gift cards from local businesses. There will be carryout dinners.
All the gardens have sponsors. The foundation can, once again, provide labor and maintenance to keep the gardens up. Please speak with Deb Morgan if interested.
Calendar: The next meeting will be held via Zoom on May 12, 2021. It is the annual meeting with officer elections. Please speak with Scott Zizic if interested in an officer position. Meet the candidates will be held on March 25, 2021 at 6:00pm via Zoom. The link will be sent out prior to the meeting.
Fire District: The referendum will be on the April 6, 2021 ballot. The FD is currently working with Kankakee County on funding. It is unsure how the stimulus package will work out for the FD. There are currently two vehicles out of service. They are asking for the voter’s support.
Electronic Signs: The chamber has saved $4,000.00 for the project. It will need to be worked out with the Village in order to make sure we get an appropriate amount of time to promote businesses/events/etc. for the chamber. If we pay for 25% of the sign, we should get 25% usage of the sign for these promotions. The sign will be IP 65 standard (waterproof), 2 sided, and will be located on the south side of the police station. Connie Granger made the motion to use the funds saved for the sign with Jerry Loitz seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Colton Ekhoff made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Deb Morgan. Motion carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
Zoom Meeting Minutes
January 12, 2021
Roll Call: Thirteen persons representing twelve members were present: Cara Lipinski (Coldwell Banker); Colton Ekhoff; Valgene Raloff (GP Area Historical Society & Museum); Dr. John Palan (GP CUSD #6); Matt Shronts and Rich Shronts (GP Fire Protection District); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP and GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff (GP Public Library); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Connie Granger and Dennis Granger (Dennis Granger Voice-Over Talent); Tina Rosenbrock; Gerry Morgan.
The zoom meeting was called to order by President Gerry Morgan.
Minutes of Previous Meeting: Connie Granger made a motion to approve the minutes for the September 9, 2020 meeting, seconded by Matt Shronts. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Please see attached
School Report: Dr. Palan reported the school has received amazing support throughout the pandemic from parents, staff, and the community.
Village Report: Dana Dickson resigned, Valgene Raloff was appointed. The village has applied for grants to cover the costs of the sidewalks. Mayor Roth applied for a CURES grant to cover COVID costs, the village has received 75% of the grant.
Membership Report: The membership form is the same as the 2020 form with the new 2021 year on it.
Scholarship Report: Scholarship checks were given to the scholarship recipients. The recipients were Hadleigh Loitz, Madison Meherg, Riley Panozzo, and Darin Wagner.
Circle Gardens: Please let Connie Granger or Gerry Morgan know if you want to continue with your circle gardens or if you are interested in doing one. The GP Foundation will again provide maintenance on the gardens if you would like the service. Please contact Deb Morgan if interested in the maintenance service.
Golf Outing: Colton Ekhoff discussed the 2021 Golf Outing. He asked if we wanted to hold the golf outing or try doing something else due to the pandemic. May is the tentative date for the outing but there will be two other dates in place “just in case”. It was decided it is best to continue with planning for the outing.
Matt Shronts discussed the GP Tax Levy Referendum. It will be on the April 6, 2021, ballot. The FD did receive Cures Act funds. This supplemental funding helped stop cuts to the department for now.
Membership: Do we want to continue memberships through 2021, waive fees, for those that are struggling due to the pandemic? Cara Lipinski made the motion to let members pay within their capabilities; to waive fees for 2021 but members will have the option to pay if they want to/are able to. Tina Rosenbrock seconded the motion. Gerry will send out the form to members. Forms will need to be filled out and sent back, check optional.
Love’s Travel Stop: Love’s is donating a “Welcome to Grant Park” sign to the village. They will break ground in February.
There will not be a “Meet the Candidates” night due to COVID.
The school district has suspended impact fees indefinitely. It will be reviewed in two years.
Real Estate Update: Cara Lipinski: GP is in a “pocket”. Market values are down 30-40%. Median sales prices are down 17.8%. Market time is 60-90 days. Grant Park is a neutral market. The median sales price for the village is $189K.
Meetings will be held in March, May, July, and September. Meeting places to be determined due to COVID. Thank you to Matt and the FD for the use of the zoom meeting.
Rich Shronts moved to adjourn with Rhonda Higgason seconding the motion. Motion Carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
July 8, 2020
GP Fire Protection District
Roll Call: Nine persons representing nine members were present: Bob Schurman (GP Area Historical & Museum and LBS Greenhouse); Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6 and Loitz Rentals); Matt Shronts and Rich Shronts (GP Fire Protection District); Kim Raloff and Amy Shronts (GP Public Library); Connie Dillman (Optical Memories); Tina Rosenbrock; W. Gerry Morgan
The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm by President Gerry Morgan. Connie Dillman made a motion to approve the minutes for the March 11, 2020, meeting, seconded by Bob Schurman. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Treasurer Rhonda Higgason was unable to attend so gave the report to Tina Rosenbrock to read. The current checking account balance is $7,915.92 with no outstanding checks. Membership dues collected were $600.00. The Scholarship Golf Outing funds collected were $1,850.00. The current savings account balance is $2,405.11 with interest earned since the last meeting of $0.21. The current balance for CD #1 is $2,567.56 with interest earned of $16.93 since the last meeting. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,403.18 with interest earned of $31.54 since the last meeting.
School Report: Jerry Loitz, School Board Member: COVID-19 update: The school is following the ISBE and the Department of Health in order to make the best instruction decisions for the health and safety of the students and staff for the upcoming 20/21 school year. A final decision regarding the opening of the school year and safety guidelines will be made in July. Graduation is scheduled for July 31st, but could change. The Hamann Center is having brick work done and the parking lot has been paved.
Village Report: The GP Oktoberfest has been cancelled. However, there will still be a parade, fireworks, and raffle. Needed repairs to Hilgert Court and fixing the hole between Pactive and the cement business were approved.
Membership Report: Everyone has paid membership dues and there are a couple of new members.
Scholarship Report: There were four scholarship winners. Eleven applications were submitted.
Golf Outing: The golf outing had to be cancelled for this year due to Covid-19. We will get a full refund on tickets purchased. Four sponsors generously told us to keep sponsorship funds.
Christmas in the Village: Christmas in the Village will also be cancelled due to Covid-19. A letter will be sent to the vendors regarding the cancellation and the date for the 2021 event to mark their calendars. The 2021 date for Christmas in the Village is December 11, 2021.
Annual Meeting Update: New Member Booklets are being worked on. It is hard to get pictures of the businesses with the current pandemic situation.
Election of Officers: There are no new nominations for officers. A motion was made to keep the current officers in their current roles by Connie Dillman, with Matt Shronts seconding the motion. Motion approved.
Calendar of Events: The next meeting will be held on September 9, 2020, at 6:00pm and will be held in the Fire Station.
Comments and Discussion:
Library: The library is open and back to regular hours. There were eight children in the Summer Reading Program. July 26th will be the final celebration for the program at Heldt Park at 1pm. The library might be getting a donation from AQUA. And, the library will be getting new books.
Bob Schurman reported that Christmas Day Inc. Golf fund raiser will be held on September 23, 2020, at Oak Springs. There WILL be a Christmas Day Dinner, no matter what. The Historical Society cancelled their golf outing but it is tentatively rescheduled for September 19, 2020.
The Fire Department Dinner is still on but not sure where or how it will be done yet. More details to come.
With no further business to discuss, Matt Shronts moved to adjourn the meeting. Jerry Loitz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
March 11, 2020
Grant Park Fire Protection District
Roll Call: Sixteen persons representing nineteen members were present: Jason Bieszczak (A&G Pizza Shop); Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Cara Lipinski (Caldwell); Char Sims; Mark Ekhoff (Clean Energy Desigh Group LLC); Rich Shronts & Matt Shronts (GP Fire Protection District); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP & GP Garden Club); Amy Shronts (GP Public Library); Bob Schurman (LBS Greenhouse & GP Historical Society); Jerry Loitz (Loitz Rentals & GP CUSD #6); Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank); Connie Granger (Optical Memories); Tina Rosenbrock; Susie Wiedl (Traxx Sports Bar & Village of GP); Gerry Morgan
The meeting was called to order at 6:05pm by President Gerry Morgan. Cara Lipinski made the motion to approve the minutes from the January 8, 2020 meeting, seconded by Bob Schurman. Motion carried.
Treasurer's Report: Rhonda Higgason, Chamber Treasurer: The checking account balance is $5,771.92 with an outstanding check to the S.O.S. in the amount of $10.00 waiting to clear. The savings account balance is $2,404.90. CD #1 has a balance of $2,550.63. CD #2 (scholarship) has a balance of $4,371.64.
School Report: Jerry Loitz, School Board Member: The school district received a perfect score on financial status. The school received a $50,000.00 matching maintenance grant.
Village Report: Village Officials: The cannibus store referendum will be on the ballot on March 17, 2020 for the village to vote on. It was noted in the meeting that it could be a money maker for the village. The Village is serious on starting the improvements suggested by the Hitchcock Group. A grant from the ComEd Green Region Grant, in the amount of $4,000.00, is being pursued to make much needed repairs to the gazebo at Legion Park as well as make it handicap accessible. A small "sprinkler" for the children is also being considered. There is a possibility of a Realtor Association Grant in order to put in walking paths.
Business and Economic Affairs: There are multiple commercial buildings in the town for sale.
All of the circle flower gardens along Route 1/17 are spoken for. The GP Foundation is taking over Dillman's garden and Nick Africano is taking over St. Peters. The gardens need to be done by May 15, 2020 please.
The chamber members are asked to consider the proposed budget for 2020. Information was handed out in the meeting for members to make an informed decision. With the proposed budget, there is a projected net income of $4,575.00, with possible provisions to be made as issues arise. Connie Granger made the motion to approve the proposed budget. Char Sims seconded the motion. Motion carried.
The 5th Annual Golf Outing Scholarship Fundraiser will be held Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 11:00am. Costs are $90.00/person for golf and dinner, $60.00 for golf only, and $30.00 for dinner only. Hole sponsorships are also available. Golfer/sponsorship forms were handed out. There will also be two raffles held. The raffles are 50/50 and Cubs/Sox tickets. We would like to raise the scholarship amount
from $1,000.00 to $2,000.00 total. Do we want to do two $1,000.00 scholarships or four $500.00 scholarships? For clarification, the scholarship qualifications were explained. The student(s) must maintain a "C" average and be attending a 2yr accredited college or trade school. After must discussion, Jerry Loitz made the motion to give four $500 scholarships with Mark Ekhoff seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Matt Shronts presented a video regarding the GP Fire Protection District's referendum for a Tax Levee Increase. This referendum will be on the March 17, 2020 ballot. The funds are needed to replace apparatus and equipment, and to provide more staffing. Currently, the apparatus is 27yrs old and equipment is 20yrs old. Some examples were given to explain costs. Stretchers cost $40,000.00, turn-out gear cost $3,000.00/person, and fire trucks (apparatus) can cost up to $600,000.00. Our fire department currently handles 800 calls/year. And, the station is staffed 22hrs/day. The intent is to replace the aging apparatus and equipment, and to be able to staff the department 24hrs/day. The ISO Rating (Insurance Service Organization) was also discussed. We currently have a rating of 4. If the referendum is passed, the projected rating will go to a 2. This will cause insurance rates to go down. If the referendum is defeated, the projected rating will go to a 6. This will cause insurance rates to rise. The department is working on 6 grants to also help with costs. Two grants have been received in the last two years. However, costly repairs were needed on apparatus this past year.
Th GP Library will be hosting the Summer Reading Program again this year. The theme is Dinosaurs & Fossils. Many adventures and activities will be held outside of the library.
Cara Lipinski handed out a Market Information Packet and explained some of the information.
Bob Schurman: Driving the Dixie will be held on June 20, 2020. The stop in GP is the Point School. The Historical Society Golf Outing will be held on June 6, 2020.
Persons interested in becoming a Chamber Officer need to contact Scott Zizic. The Annual meeting, and election of officers, will be held on May 13, 2020.
Mark Ekhoff of Clean Energy Design Group, LLC discussed commercial Solar Energy projects. His business works strictly in the commercial area.
The Village Festival Committee meeting will be held on March 19, 2020 at the Village Hall, 6pm.
The Village Easter Egg Hunt is scheduled for April 11, 2020 at the Legion Park, 1pm.
With no further business to discuss, Rhonda Higgason motioned to adjourn the meeting. Susie Wiedl seconded the motion. Motion carried. The meeting was adjourned at 7:27pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
January 8, 2020
Minne Monesse Holiday Dinner
Roll Call: Fifty six persons representing thirty members were present: Jason Bieszczak (A&G Pizza Stop); Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House); Cara Lipinski (McColly Real Estate); Colton Ekhoff & guests Jim Rowe, Nick Africano, Lori Gadbois; Dana Dickson; Dave Dickson; Scott & Sue Dillman (Dillman Hardware, INC); Donnie Gass (Gass Professional Painting); Valgene Raloff (GP Area Historical Society & Museum); Dr. Palan & Leellyn Palan (GP CUSD #6); Rich Shronts & guest Deb (GP Fire Protection District); Deb Morgan (GP Foundation, NFP & GP Garden Club); Kim Raloff, Amy Shronts, Joelle Schneider, Christi Gore & guest Randy Schneider (GP Public Library); Doug & Robyn Graves (Graves Financial Services); Bob Schurman (LBS Greenhouse); Jerry & Stephanie Loitz (Loitz Rentals); Rhonda Higgason and guests Dornita Hamann, Nicole Blondeel, Don Barowski, Anita Wesemann, Jeff Ficaro, Scott & Susan Snavely (Midland States Bank); Anita Allison & Guest (Momence Progress Reporter); Sarah Hendron and guest (Muggin Around Town); Connie & Dennis Granger (Optical Memories); Justin & Rebecca Schriefer (Renzo Excavating, LLC); Tina Rosenbrock & guest Kevin Rosenbrock; Tom Peterson; Gerry Morgan; Susie Wiedl (Traxx Sports Bar, Village of GP); Nick Gore, Joanne McKinstry, & guest Monica Clark (Sharper Homes); Elizabeth Karstensen, Katie Casey, & guest Steve Casey (Youth Commission); Guest Mark Ekhoff.
The meeting was called to order at 6:14pm by President Morgan. Colton Ekhoff made the motion to approve the minutes from the November 13, 2019 meeting, seconded by Tom Peterson. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s Report: Rhonda Higgason: The checking account balance is $4,611.68. The savings account balance is $2,404.90 with interest of $0.28 earned. CD #1 has a balance of $2,550.63 with interest of $17.05 earned. CD #2 (Scholarship) has a balance of $4,371.64 with interest of $15.64 earned. The Christmas in the Village event had a profit of $721.82. Earnings from the crafters, raffles, donations, & guessing game were $850.50; expenses were $128.68; giving us the profit of $721.82.
School Report: Dr. Palan reported they are actively marketing the school district. He also thanked the Chamber for the donation to the promotional video. GP School district has been recognized as a top 100 school for the 4th year. The Bond for the Middle School has been paid off therefore, the taxes should go down. The school district is currently trying for a grant. School Assessment report: Elementary received the highest rating and the graduation rate is the highest in the area.
Village Report: Completed the sale for the waste water treatment to Aqua IL. An information meeting will be held in February regarding cannabis sales in the village. There will be a referendum to vote on whether to allow cannabis sales/dispensary in the village if the subject arises.
Government Affairs: November 2020 – progressive income tax + revenue needed in the state for retirement benefits. Can we trust the general assembly to wisely use? The general assembly passed 250 laws. The minimum wage will increase to $15.00 by 2025. License plates fees are increasing to $151 from $101.
Business & Economic Affairs: Scholarship winners have been paid.
Membership: The membership forms are in the packets. If you have a Flower Bed, your membership needs to be paid by May 1st.
Christmas in the Village: THANK YOU to Dr. Palan for the use of the school for the event. The windows decorated were excellent as always. There were many crafters for the event this year and two have already committed for next year. Thirty-seven vendors paid and there were six no-shows. The event for 2020 will be on December 12th. Fee for crafters will be $20.00 thru December 1, 2020. After December 1st, the fee will be $25.00. THANK YOU to Sharper Homes for the sleigh. THANK YOU to Midland States Bank for Santa.
Applications for the circle gardens are due by May 1, 2020. There are 12 gardens total. If interested, please speak with Connie to get the application form. GP Rangers will do weeding on the circle gardens for a fee of $50. That fee will cover weeding (not watering) for the months of June-September. Please contact Deb Morgan for more information.
A tentative budget was presented and proposed. It will need to be revised before it is voted on.
As discussed earlier, Membership Applications are in the packets for 2020. Please have your membership application and fees paid by June 1, 2020, to be included in the Chamber Booklet.
Connie Granger made a motion to have the Chamber Golf Outing on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Rhonda Higgason seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Members were asked whether or not to continue having the Annual Dinner Meeting on a Wednesday, or to move the dinner to a Saturday night. The consensus was to continue having the Annual Dinner Meeting on a Wednesday in January.
Youth Commission: the Youth Commission is joining forces with the GP Foundation. Any donations to the Youth Commission will be considered as a tax deduction as it is now part of the Foundation. Please make checks to the GP Foundation with a notation for the Youth Commission.
A moment of silence was held for the tragedy at the GP Whitaker Grain Elevator.
Calendar of Events:
Village Festival Committee Meeting will be held in January at the Village Hall, 6pm.
Village Festival Committee’s Cabin Fever Reliever will be February 22, 2020, at the Community Park Building beginning with Bingo at 4:00.
Next Chamber Meeting is scheduled for March 11, 2020 at 6:00pm in the Fire Station. Snacks will be served.
Scott Dillman made the motion to adjourn with Tom Peterson seconding the motion. Motion carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
November 13, 2019
At the Grant Park Fire Station
Roll Call: Nineteen persons representing eighteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House), Colton Ekhof, Scott Dillman (Dillman Hardware, Inc), Char Sims, Bob Shurman (Grant Park Historical Society & LBS Greenhouse), Deb Morgan (Grant Park Foundation & Grant Park Garden Club), Amy Shronts (Grant Park Library), Matt Shronts (Grant Park Fire Department), Douglas Graves (Graves Financial Services), Jerry Loitz (Grant Park Community Unit School District #6 & Loitz Rentals), Rhonda Higgason (Midland Bank), Dennis & Connie Granger (Optical Memories), Thomas Peterson, Susie Wiedl, with Katie Casey and Elizabeth Karstensen (Village of Grant Park), and W. Gerry Morgan. Guest: Mark Ekhoff.
Meeting called to order at 6:03 pm by President Morgan. A motion was made by Tom Peterson to approve the minutes of the September 11, 2019, meeting. Seconded by Connie Granger. Motion carried.
Treasure report: Rhonda Higgason: Midland bank checking account balance is $7,197.30, with an outstanding check of $500 and cleared checks since the last meeting of $378.09 for the lighting project and $98.12 to TRAXX. The savings account balance is $2,402.62, CD #1 balance $2,533.58 which is an interest increase of 30 cents. CD #2 the Scholarship fund balance is $4,356 with no interest as yet. Profit from the Golf Cart raffle was $4,460.
School report: Jerry Loitz. At the last meeting student representatives presented the Board with the US News and World Report Best High Schools for the fourth year in a row. We approved a balanced budget and the auditors were impressed with this. We have two important initiatives this year. One provides resources to students who have difficulty with reading proficiency. Another program seeks to expose our students to the possibility of post-secondary careers not necessarily college and provides a shadowing of career opportunities.
Village report: Gerry Morgan. Recently the Village, in a controversial move, hired the Hitchcock Group to continue the second phase of developing a regional positioning plan. Susie commented that the Village is reviewing their insurance coverage which this time includes a quote from Chamber Member Keith Brack.
Library report: Amy Shronts commented that they enjoyed working with the GP Foundation on their Bewitching event. This coming Saturday the Library is celebrating its 100th anniversary with an open house from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Snacks as well as an opportunity to see old pictures, take part in trivia questions and relive the early years in their current location. Amy thanked Bob Schurman for refinishing the check-out desk as it had suffered from years of people and books crossing its surface.
Government Affairs: Douglas reported that at the federal level the House is proceeding with impeachment procedures of the President, but the Senate will probably not convict him. At the State level the legislature is still divided with a number of things. We are in the second year of the Federal tax law so we will see how that turns out. On a local level it is time for levies which are due in December. Scott Dillman mentioned that the legislature is contemplating freezing the time at the Daylight Savings Time in the spring of 2020 and not changing after that.
Busiss and Economic Affairs: Char Sims: The Drunken Monkey is still for sale as is Dillman’s True Value. Traxx is also apparently for sale.
Public relations: Dennis Granger & Deb Morgan: They are making a flyer for Christmas in the Village.
Membership: Membership renewals will be going out in the near future. The Membership form will stay the same. Currently we have forty paid members for the chamber for 2019. Next year we plan to put a membership booklet together for members who have completed their memberships for 2020 as of June 1st.
Christmas in the Village: Connie Granger. It is currently at twenty-nine vendors and crafters. The Methodist Church ladies will be selling cinnamon rolls and Jason will have his pizza truck available during the lunch hours. Will need help loading and unloading vendors by 7:00 AM and again at 3:00. There was a brief discussion of the ugly sweater event. Which will probably be called ugly, but family friendly sweaters.
Budget Committee: Rhonda: The committee has retrieved earlier budgets and a tentative budget for 2020 was distributed. Douglas said that what was presented was based on previous budgets and contingent on fundraising activities in 2020.
There was a discussion about the snowflakes and the lighting of the circle gardens. There was a general feeling that a sign should be erected that credits the electrification to the Chamber and to the Foundation.
1. The Chamber upgrade of the snowflake connections has completed but there has not been an invoice presented as yet. The Chamber and Foundation will be paying $1,000 each for this. There was a discussion of the Chamber’s purchase of the snowflakes and the history of the Christmas decorations. Further discussion indicates that the Village does replace lights in the snowflakes but if a new one was needed; it would be the Chamber that replaces them.
2. Members should consider the open-ended motion concerning the School’s video presentation. Currently the Chamber has contributed $500. Comments indicated that the feeling is that this is enough.
3. January Dinner Meeting: Connie said she contacted Minne Monesse and they will cater the meal on January 8th. We are going to get a cake from Berkots if OK with Minne. Looking at $10 for members and $20 for non-members for the meal cost. Meeting at 6:00 with dinner to follow. An email will be sent out as soon as plans are set. Reservations will be taken and must be in the week before.
1. The Chamber calendar was discussed, and changes were made.
Note: Oktoberfest will be the 11th, 12th & 13th. It was suggested that the sponsoring agency be included for the events on the calendar as they are confusing as to who actually is in charge.
The flower bed care takers along Route 1/17 will have the possibility of being able to hire weeders from the GP Foundation known as the G Park Rangers to maintain the beds in top form all summer.
The Youth Commission reported on their recent Bingo Night which went very well. They also have a Make & Take for kids on November 24th.
Library Board 100th Anniversary – November 16th
Village Tree Lighting is December 13th
Christmas in the Village December 14th.
Christmas Day Inc. will have dinner on the 25th from 11 to 1.
Cabin Fever Reliever is scheduled for February 22rd.
Motion to adjourn made by Connie Granger and seconded by Char Sims . Motion carried. Adjourned at 6:50.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
September 11, 2019
Roll Call: Twenty one persons representing 24 members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett Curtis House), Cara Lipinski, Colton Ekhoff, Char Sims, Dave Dickson, Scott Dillman (Dillman Hardware), Bob Schurman (GP Historical Society & LBS Greenhouse), John Palan (GP CUSD #6), GP Fire Protection District, Deb Morgan (GP Foundation & GP Garden Club), Kim Raloff (GP Public Library), Doug Graves (Graves Financial Services), Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank), Dennis & Connie Granger (Optical Memories), Tina Rosenbrock, Tom Peterson, Gerry Morgan, Susie Wiedl (Traxx Sports Bar & Village of GP), Bill Coats (Village of GP), Elizabeth Karstensen (Youth Commission), and Julie Kokos.
Meeting called to order @ 6:09pm by President Morgan. New member, Julie Kokos, was acknowledged and welcomed to the chamber.
Connie Granger made a motion to approve the minutes of July 10, 2019. Bob Schurman seconded the motion. Motion Carried.
Treasurer's Report: Rhonda Higgason reported balances of $9,639.51 in the checking account, $2,404.32 in the savings account, and $2,516.64 in the CD. Colton Ekhoff and Rhonda Higgason stated the golf cart is now paid in full. As of today, the profit is $2,480.00 with approximately 200 tickets left to sell.
School Report: John Palan and Dave Dickson presented the marketing videos made to promote the GP CUSD #6, Village of GP, and GP Businesses. There is still some editing to do but, it is almost ready to go. John Palan spoke about meeting with CSL and Nucor to get the positive message out about our community and attract people to the village.
Village Report: The Hitchcock Group is working with the village on a regional study on how to publicize GP and on what needs to be done for GP's image. Members were asked to take the GP image survey at the following address: www.surveymonkey.com/r/GHPKLM7 by September 30, 2019. On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, the Hitchcock Group will talk to the "stakeholders". On Thursday, October 3, 2019, they will report results back to the village.
Library Report: The tentative date for the 100th celebration of the library is November 16, 2019. The time is TBD. The Summer Reading Program went well and was well received.
Government Affairs: No Report
Business & Economic Affairs: No Report
Public Relations: Currently, events/businesses are promoted via the website using business cards, pictures, etc. The Bewitching Hextravaganza is on October 26, 2019. Still looking for vendors with autumn related items.
Membership: We have a new member, Julie Kokos.
Christmas in the Village: The theme this year is "Mickey's Magical Christmas". The school has been reserved. There are 5 vendors so far and games/crafts are coming together. Breakfast and lunch will be served for the event. A budget needs to be set up. Help would be appreciated for set-up and take-down. Please contact Connie Granger or Kim Raloff if you are able to volunteer for the event, able to set-up, or able to clean-up. Connie Granger made a motion to set the budget at $250.00. Dave Dickson seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Circle Garden electrical update: The lights have been installed and are lit at night. A discussion was held about purchasing colored LED lights to light up the trees coordinating with holidays throughout the year. Purchase price is $256.69. Connie Granger made a motion to purchase the LED lights. Deb Morgan seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Financial Proposal: Should we separate funds rather than keep it all in one checking account, i.e. fundraising money, scholarship funds, etc. A discussion was held about doing a CD for the scholarship funds. Total funds for scholarships are $5,356. Rhonda Higgason made a motion to put $4,356 in a 16 month CD for scholarship funds, leaving $1,000 in the checking account for the January payout. Colton Ekhoff seconded the motion. Motion carried.
A budget needs to be established for the Chamber. Deb Morgan made a motion to establish a budget in January. Connie Granger seconded the motion. Motion carried. The finance committee to establish the budget and present in January are as follows: Rhonda Higgason, Susie Wiedl, and Doug Graves.
Snowflake electrical connections: Thirteen of the Chambers' snowflake electrical connections are in unsafe condition. The chamber received a quote of $3,000.00 from Matt Schmidt to fix the issue. The GP Foundation has generously offered to contribute $1,000.00 toward the repairs. There is a possible donor to contribute another $1,000.00. After much discussion regarding the costs, whether or not to do all the repairs or partial, and who is responsible for the repairs; Bob Schurman made the motion to have all repairs made and to contribute the additional $1,000.00 necessary to complete the project. Tom Peterson seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Christmas Day, INC: Bob Schurman reported they have 19 sponsors this year for the free Christmas Day Dinner. Each sponsor is donating $1,000.00. He commented that the Chamber does not need to support this event financially this year. Volunteers are acceptable on December 25th.
Holiday Meeting: Connie Granger made a motion to hold the Holiday Dinner Meeting on January 8, 2020. Char Sims seconded the motion. Motion carried. Details - TBD
GP Youth Commission: Elizabeth Karstensen reported the youth commission is holding a fundraiser, "Culver's Share Night", on September 18, 2019, from 5pm - 8pm. Culver's will donate 10% of sales back to the Youth Commission. Also, a Bingo Night is scheduled for November 9, 2019, from 6pm - 9pm at the Legion Hall. Locovore Farm and Happy Life Farm is donating food for the event.
The next meeting is on November 13, 2019 @ 6pm in the GP Fire station. The GP Foundation meeting will be held directly after.
Tina Rosenbrock read a thank-you letter from the GP Youth Commission, thanking the Chamber for the donation to their cause.
A motion to adjourn was made by Colton Ekhoff. Scott Zizic seconded the motion. Motion carried and meeting adjourned at 7:30pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
July 10, 2019
Roll Call: Seventeen persons representing nineteen members were present: Colton Ekhoff, Char Sims, Scott Dillman (Dillman True Value), Bob Schurman (GP Historical Society & LBS Greenhouse), Jerry Loitz (GP CUSD #6 & Loitz Bros), Deb Morgan (GP Foundation & GP Garden Club), Amy Shronts & Kim Raloff ( GP Library), Rhonda Higgason (Midland States Bank), Dennis & Connie Granger (Optical Memories), Tina Rosenbrock, Tom Peterson, George Reyes (USA Restaurant), Gerry Morgan, Susie Wiedl (Village of GP), Katie Casey (GP Youth Commission)
Meeting called to order @ 6:20pm by President Morgan. A motion was made by Colton Ekhoff to approve the minutes of May 8, 2019. The motion was seconded by Tom Peterson. Motion carried.
Treasurer's Report: Rhonda Higgason reported the checking account has a balance of $9,309.80, the savings account has a balance of $2,404.32 that includes the interest made of $0.30, and the CD balance is $2,516.64 that includes the YTD interest of $16.64.
School Report: The fiscal year closed with a balanced budget. The school district received the highest rating from Standard and Poor’s and from the State Board of ED. Technology workstations were purchased for the staff.
Village Report: The village is currently working on the wording of ordinances.
Library Report: The library is currently doing a summer reading program with an ice cream social scheduled for the end of the program. The library is also involved w/ the Wednesday activities at Heldt Park. A weekly trivia contest is planned w/ the prizes being movie tickets. A 100th birthday celebration is in the works, more to follow. Amy and Kim are asking everyone to share the Library FB posts to get the word out on all activities.
GP Foundation: A "Witches Night Out" is planned for October 26th. Vendors are needed for the event.
Public Relations: Nothing to report but, "Stuff is in the works".
Business & Economic Affairs: Nothing to report
Membership: Colton has sent out renewal forms to those who have not renewed as of yet. He also sent out information to other businesses/potential members.
Scholarship: The selected recipients of the $500 scholarships were Lane Thiesen and Katie Williams. Lane will be attending JJC majoring in AG and Katie will be attending KCC majoring in Psychology.
Christmas in the Village: The event will be held on December 14th. Mailings are ready to be sent out. They are working on a theme.
Electrification of the Gardens update: have two quotes, waiting for possibly two more. The current low quote list 3/4 PVC conduit with GFCI breaker at each garden. A motion was made to raise the donation amount to 1/2 the funds from the chamber by Dennis Granger. Tom Peterson seconded that motion. Motion carried. Bob Schurman made a motion to let the officers make the most responsible decision on the quote for the project to be done. Char Sims seconded that motion. Motion carried.
Circle Garden maintenance: Some of the gardens need weeding and attention. Most of the gardens have been kept up.
GOLF CART RAFFLE PRESENTATION: Colton and Rhonda proposed doing a raffle to raise funds for Chamber projects. The estimated profit is $4,000-$6,000 with a ticket price of $20/ticket and 750 tickets sold. The carts they looked at cost $6,100 (Peotone) and $5,700 (Manteno) to purchase. The higher priced one includes the batteries. Tom Peterson made the motion to hold a raffle. Amy Shronts seconded the motion. Motion carried. A brief discussion was then held regarding the purchase of the golf cart. If purchased right away, it would deplete the funds in the checking account until money came in from the raffle ticket sales. Bob Schurman motioned to purchase the cart from Peotone with a $1000 down payment and pay the rest off when we get enough money from the raffle ticket sales. Tom Peterson seconded the motion. Motion carried. A third motion was made to hold the sale of tickets from the time tickets are made/received through October 1st by Tom Peterson. Tina Rosenbrock seconded the motion. Motion carried.
YOUTH COMMISSION: Katie Nichols talked about the youth commission and its goal. It is to provide fun, family friendly, safe activities and an environment for the youth in the community. The commission is asking for a donation/sponsorship in order to help fund those activities for the youth. Kim Raloff motioned to make a $50.00 donation. Rhonda Higgason seconded the motion. Motion carried.
OCTOBERFEST: The Octoberfest committee is asking for a donation. Tom Peterson motioned to donate $0.00 dollars. Scott Dillman seconded the motion. Motion did not carry. After a lengthy discussion, a new motion was made by Colton Ekhoff to donate $50.00. Dennis Granger seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Dennis Granger motioned to hold the next meeting on September 11th at 6pm. Tom Peterson seconded the motion. Motion carried. Place of the meeting is TBD.
A motion to adjourn was made by Connie Granger. Jerry Loitz seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
May 8, 2019
At Bennett-Curtis House
Roll Call: Fifteen persons representing sixteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House), Colton Ekhoff, Char Sims, Scott Dillman (Dillman True Value), Deb Morgan (Grant Park Foundation & Grant Park Garden Club), John Palan (Grant Park CSUD #6), Douglas Graves (Graves Financial), Kim Raloff, Jerry Loitz (Loitz Brothers), Rhonda Higgason (Midland Bank), Sarah Hendron (Muggin’ Around Town), Connie Granger (Optical Memories), Tina Rosenbrock, W. Gerry Morgan, Susie Wiedl (Village of Grant Park).
Meeting called to order at 6:25 pm by President Morgan. A motion was made by a well-known member to approve the minutes of the March 13, 2019, Meeting. Seconded by another member. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s report: Rhonda Higgason reported the following. The Midland checking account has a balance of $4,532.00, the savings balance is $2,404.32, The CD was raised to $2,500.00. Current total is $9,436.32.
School report: John Palan. Explained current efforts on the District’s part to publicize the area favorably so that families move to the area. He mentioned a video presentation that is in the works that will help to get the Grant Park name out there.
Village report: Gerry Morgan: The Village hired the Hitchcock Group to put together a compilation of current stakeholders and their insight into what needs to be done in the Village going forward to attract new residents and businesses.
Governmental: Douglas Graves: There is national bipartisan support for improving the infrastructure. At the state level the state has abrogated their responsibility for funding pension funds, and something has to be done. Apparently, there is general support for increasing the state income tax.
Public relations: Deb Morgan: Mentioned that if members wish to have something posted on the Facebook page, send the information to her and she will see it gets publicized.
Membership: Colton Ekhoff: Mentioned new members DTE Construction, Foam Tech Industries, and Kyle Timmons, Pastor of St. Peter’s United Church of Christ as he wanted to do a flower bed. Connie Granger introduced new member Sarah Hendron of Muggin’ Around Town. Sarah is also taking care of one of the Circle Gardens.
Golf Outing: Susie Wiedl & Colton Ekhoff explained the status of the Golf Outing, raffles, and invited members to come out for lunch and dinner, if not for golf. The outing is May 18, 2019, with a 11:00 am tee off. Cost is $60.00/person. Dinner is at 5 pm. If you want to do the dinner only, the cost is $25.00. To Golf only, the cost is $45.00. Sponsorships are going well. There will also be a 50/50, basket, and baseball ticket raffles.
Scholarship: Connie explained that since Carol Wold had moved away, the officers had appointed Scott Dillman to take her place on the Scholarship Committee. Scott explained the process that they had to award two scholarships this year. He explained the questionnaires that the students turned in for consideration. It was a very difficult process this year as there were many deserving applicants, in all there were fourteen. He also said that they knew the numbers of the students selected (number 5 & number 8) but did not know the names as those are only known at the school.
Planning Committee: The School District, the Village and the Chamber have put together a committee to discuss goals for the future of the area and how best to go about planning for this. Scott explained how the committee is working at present basically looking for feedback from each of the three groups to be shared in the committee and then presented back to the three groups. John Palan also commented on the status of the committee. This committee is partly a result of the discussion held at the January Chamber Meeting. Chamber members were asked to share ideas with Scott and Gerry to bring to this committee.
Election of Officers: Scott Zizic: After a discussion of the process, the current slate of officers was presented. Treasurer: Rhonda Higgason; Secretary: Tina Rosenbloom; Vice-President: Connie Granger; President: Gerry Morgan.
Nominations from the floor were requested but there were none. Douglas Graves moved to accept the proposed slate of officers, seconded by Scott Dillman. Motion approved.
Members should consider sponsoring the Historical Society’s Golf Outing. Connie Granger moved to donate $250 to the Historical Society to sponsor their golf outing. Seconded by Rhonda Higgason. Motion approved.
Members should consider assisting the School District with a video presentation. There was a discussion of what the presentation entails. John commented on the plans and its integration with other parts of the Village and area. Scott Dillman moved to approve a donation of a minimum of $500 to assist the School District with their video presentation. Seconded by Colton Ekhof. Motion approved. Note: This motion to be reviewed to see if an additional amount may be available. The check will be made out to the School District probably in August.
Membership certificates were passed out to new members.
The Chamber Golf Outing is May 18th.
The Historical Society’s Golf Outing will be June 1st.
Drivin’ the Dixie will be June 15th and will arrive at Legion Park in the morning as the route has been reversed from the previous years.
The next Chamber meeting will be held on July 10th at the USA Family Restaurant at 6 pm.
The Grant Park Foundation is holding “Beat the Blahs” classes for kids on Wednesdays at Heldt Park at 9:00 AM.
Christmas in the Village vendors are receiving letters and forms for the upcoming event in December. There was a discussion of some of the plans and possible plans concerning this year’s event.
Motion to adjourn made by Char Sims, seconded by Tina Rosenbloom. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 7: 00 pm.
Grant Park Chamber of Commerce
March 13, 2019
At Grant Park Fire House
Roll Call: Seventeen persons representing sixteen members were present: Scott Zizic (Bennett-Curtis House), Colton Ekhoff, Dave Dickson, Scott Dillman (Dillman True Value), Bob Schurman (Grant Park Historical Society & LBS Greenhouse), Matt Shronts (Grant Park Fire Department), Deb Morgan (Grant Park Foundation & Grant Park Garden Club), Jerry Loitz (Loitz Brothers), Rhonda Higgason (Midland Bank), Dennis & Connie Granger (Optical Memories), Justin and Rebecca Schriefer (Renzo Excavating), Thomas Peterson, Tina Rosenbrock, W. Gerry Morgan.
Meeting called to order at 6:08 pm by President Morgan. A motion was made by Deb Morgan to approve the minutes, Seconded by Tom Peterson of the January 9, 2019, meeting. Motion carried.
Treasurer’s report: Rhonda Higgason reported the following. The Midland checking account has a balance of $4,454.01, the savings balance is $2,800.49, and the CD balance is $2,091.54. The CD matures on the 16th. If the CD automatically rolls over it will roll over at the 12 month rate of 1.86%. However, if we raise the amount of the CD to $2,500.00, we can put it in to the special rate of 2.67% with a yield of 2.70%. Bob Schurman made the motion to raise the amount to $2,500.00 and put it in the special rate, Colton Ekhoff seconded. Motion carried.
School report: Jerry Loitz. School rated as a top school. Students are preparing for the SAT. The play, “Mamma Mia”' was presented this weekend. The HS boys varsity basketball team were Regional Champs this year as well as the 8th grade girls volleyball team.
Village report: Gerry Morgan. The slip lining of the sewer problem along Main Street has been completed. Visu-sewer worked very late one night to fix a leakage problem in the original job. It is all working properly now.
Public relations: Dennis Granger. Susie Wiedl and Colton Ekhoff were added to the Facebook site for the Golf outing. Reminder: Meet the candidates is next Wednesday, 3/20/2019.
Golf Outing: Colton Ekhoff. The outing is May 18, 2019 with a 11:00 am tee off. Cost is $60.00/person. Dinner is at 5pm. If you want to do the dinner only, the cost is $25.00. To Golf only, the cost is $45.00. Sponsorships are going well. There will also be a 50/50 raffle.
Scholarship: There is enough money to do either a larger scholarship of $1,000.00 or do two $500.00 scholarships this year. After some discussion, Scott Dillman made the motion to do two $500.00 scholarships, Tom Peterson seconded. Motion carried.
Please have the circle gardens done by Memorial Day weekend. There will not be a specified garden clean-up day this year. There is one circle garden available. There may be someone to take it but if someone is interested, please let the chamber know.
Member Certificates have been given to those that have paid dues.
Treasurer: Bill Wold resigned as treasurer. Rhonda Higgason took over as temporary treasurer. Scott Dillman made to the motion to have Rhonda Higgason serve as permanent treasurer, Colton Ekhoff seconded the motion. Motion carried.
Elections: Please email Scott Zizic before the next meeting if you are interested in being an officer for the Chamber.
Meet the Candidates: Meet the Candidates will be held at the Hamann Center on Wednesday, March 20, 2019.
Midland After Hours will be held on April 17, 2019 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. Food and drinks will be served.
Grant Park Foundation: Deb Morgan is working on a grant for the for the Gazebo at the park. Deb also discussed the Grant Park Foundation fundraiser online.
The Village Easter Egg Hunt will be on April 20th at 1pm.
The next Chamber meeting will be held on May 8th at the Bennett-Curtis House at 6pm. This is the Annual Meeting to elect officers.
4 Corners Development looking at Grant Park to build 20 senior duplexes.
Motion to adjourn made by Connie Granger, Deb Morgan seconded the motion. Motion carried. Meeting adjourned at 6:47pm.