Minutes – September 8th, 2020


September 8, 2020 – 7:00 a.m.


Present: Jason Knox, Jamie Hoey, Kennon Gumm, Garrett Crandall, Jayde Blue


Absent: Tiffany Johansen, Nick McIntyre, Rick Trumm, Chris DeBack


  1. Meeting was called to order at 7:11 a.m. by President Jason Knox.
  2. September’s agenda was motioned to approve by Jamie; seconded by Kennon; approved by all.
  3. August’s meeting minutes were reviewed and motioned to approve by Garrett; seconded by Kennon; approved by all.
  4. Finances tabled until next month due to Tiffany’s absence.
  5. Administrative Updates
    1. Board Photos- Thursday at 5 p.m. at Rachel’s.
    2. By-Laws – main change to the number of members of the Board to align with the city’s ordnance. Jamie motioned to adopt the amended By-laws; seconded by Kennon; approved by all.
    3. Chamber/City Director Agreement- need a common management agreement for management of the Director. Pat Ritter is working on it to present at a future Board meeting.
    4. Open House- went well! Chamber after 5 will be done in 2021. Let’s do another event this year if COVID allows. We will look at dates at the October meeting, and Jayde will give invites at business visits.
  6. Real Estate Updates
    1. Golf Course/Trail- pre-application submitted for the Iowa Great Places grant.
    2. Industrial Lot- there is an interested buyer. Jason is dealing with the realtor- $59,900 for the entire land. The buyer doesn’t want the entire lot, but we don’t want to keep a portion of the land. Is there a way to get them to purchase the entire thing? We can mark up the half lot to entice them to purchase the entire thing for less money. Jason motioned to mark 33% up from the original price based on square footage ($39,900) for the section they want; Kennon seconded; all approved. City has a few land options to sell as well.
  7. Building Needs
    1. Rental Contracts- Jamie motioned to accept the new rental contracts with the increased rental prices; Kennon seconded it; approved by all.
    2. Maintenance- stopped pursuing with the potential sale of the building to determine if maintenance should be done if we sell. However, with pushing the sale until we do more research, Jayde will continue to work on building maintenance. The building continues to have issues with the condensation pump for Geo-thermal. Gages have come twice to look at it. Geothermal has been an issue with other businesses in West Union. Jayde will talk with Travis at Gages to try to figure it out.
    3. Refinancing mortgage- per Jason’s email: Existing Balance: $73,811.86. Rate is adjustable and is presently 5.25% through October 2023. Renewal rate is determined at that time. Present payment is $667.65. Assuming the rate on existing loan renews at the same rate for 2 more 5-year terms, the loan will take approximately 12 years and 5 months to pay, the hypothetical total payments would total approximately $99,497.  This assumes no change in rate over the entire loan term, which is not guaranteed. Proposed Kerndt Brothers, where the loan is held, agreed to refinance at 4.50% fixed rate for 10-year term.  Payment will be approximately $759 per month, which is approximately $91 more per month than present payment. $80 documentation fee.  No appraisal required. The total payments on the refinanced loan, with fixed rate, would be $91,077 over the 10-year period, assuming the approximate $760 payment is made each month, on time.  This rate and term do not change. Jamie motioned to refinance; Garrett seconded; approved by all. Jason will get paperwork and the Director and Executive Board will sign. The Executive Director is Jayde Blue.  The Executive Board consists of the President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  As of this meeting: The President is Jason Knox.  The Vice President is Tiffany Johansen.  The Secretary is Jamie Hoey.  The Treasurer is Chris DeBack.
    4. Potential Sale Discussion- Jayde, Jason, and Pat discussed purchasing but no price was mentioned. The Board had many thoughts and/or concerns- Are there other buildings that Ritter’s could go in. Perhaps, Donahue building for Ritter’s? If we sell, would we need to list it to allow other businesses the opportunity? Is there another location for the Chamber to go to? Could we build in a new location? Great location for Chamber- would we want to move? How much maintenance for the building is needed in the next five years? This interest proves the ‘incubator business model’ has been successful here at the Chamber. Jayde will work with Main Street to ensure proper processes and send an email to the Board. Garret motioned to wait until the lot sells and then form an Ad-Hoc committee to look at sale vs maintenance and other details; Kennon seconded it; all approved. Jason, Kennon, and Garret will be on the Ad Hoc committee. If any other members want to be on it, let Jason know.
    5. Donahue Building- Jayde is working directly with the city and researching grants for refurbishing.
  8. Business Needs
    1. Mexican Restaurant- the grand opening went well. They are not Chamber members, so there are no plans above and beyond sharing their Facebook posts or assisting if they come to us; however, they will be included in Chamber business visits. Communication about the grand opening was late; however, Jayde was unaware that an email notice should have been sent to the Board. Going forward, Jayde will send all informative emails to the entire Board. Jayde will be going to ribbon cuttings on behalf of Chamber.
    2. Best Rest- Jayde will get Johnathan’s phone number from Nick and schedule a meeting.
  9. Director’s Report
    1. Small Projects
      1. Guest Binders- working on it. Already out of date. Will be updating each January.
      2. Brochure- in progress. Will include map and businesses. May want to think of layout so the Director isn’t updating it all the time with businesses changing.
  • Board binders- in progress
  1. Social media- more the better. Jayde is trying to post at least once a week.
  1. Marketing/Advertising/Promotion- nothing to report
  2. Program & Event Coordination- Punch Card Meeting- September 10 @ 7:30 a.m.
  3. Online Content Maintenance/Development- in-progress: added Lux Beauty Bare, EDS, and updated Knox financial services.
  4. Board Management/Trainings- January 2021. Jamie and Jayde will meet to review Main Street Accreditation.
  5. Big Projects
    1. DLO – Committee needs to be formed to finish gutting interior.
    2. Membership/Investment Drive- Jayde has a timeframe for business visits and not a specific number of businesses visited (typically, 20-30 a week). Jayde has spoken with many businesses.
      1. Business Survey Template- one suggestion to add “other social media” to the form; otherwise looks great. Jayde will work directly with the business during visits and fill out the forms with them and not leave them. She will share completed forms before Board meetings.
    3. Accountability/Sustainability
      1. Communication- weekly Board emails and a monthly report at the meeting.
      2. Office Hours- change in hours due to college classes starting
        1. MTRF 12:30pm – 2:30pm (travel time included)
        2. MTW 5:00pm – 10:15pm (travel time included)
        3. Only day I can do lunch meetings in Wednesday
        4. Only days I can do night meetings is Thursday & Friday
      3. Committee Reports
        1. Promotions- Playing on the Plaza went well with a slight positive gain. Looking at Trunk of Treats event but must determine how to do the event due to COVID guidelines.
        2. Design & Business- had first meeting and will be meeting monthly. Since committee hasn’t met, they discussed old goals. Reviewed Main Street ideas, toolbox, and checklists and will be bringing back ideas to September’s meeting. Fire hydrants will be a goal for 2021 along with a mural for Steffen’s building. We plan to look at the pocket park by McJ’s. They had tried to create a park; however, maybe put in some seating and create a nice outside area. We will be talking with Ron Saboe on assisting with the historical aspect of the committee. The Chamber will be adopting flower beds downtown. Holiday Punch Card Promotions will be a separate committee outside this committee that Jayde is working on.
        3. Economic Vitality- per Jayde, a brewery contacted Chamber to come to town; they are working with Ray S. on his lot. It was mentioned to look at other locations just in case that location doesn’t work. A directory of all available commercial properties providing specifics would be a great idea for economic development. Meeting Friday @ noon.
        4. Organization- SxS/UTV Ride: 11/7/2020, begin at 11 a.m. We will have a ride with a meal afterward. Start at Event Center, poker run, go to WU business, perhaps Chamber have brats/drinks, go toward Ossian, and come back. Soup supper? More information at the next meeting from the committee.
      4. For good of order- nothing


Next meeting – October 13, 2020 at 7:00 am at the Chamber/Main Street office.

Submitted by Jamie Hoey, Secretary

Investing in the community by bringing people together to achieve a support system that seeks to promote business success, downtown revitalization, and a sense of community pride.

Through Community engagement, create a unique and prosperous downtown to enrich the entire business community of West Union and beyond that embraces history, preserves natural environment, and promotes quality events that instills a sense of community pride.