Read our meeting minutes here and learn more details about what the Chamber is set out to do.
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.