Chamber Continues Work

NEW BREMEN — Southwestern Auglaize County Chamber of Commerce Director Scott Frey visited with New Bremen Village Councilors during their meeting Tuesday evening, updating them on the happenings at the chamber.

Frey brought the guestbook from the Lockkeeper’s House with him to showcase the amount of visitors to the visitor’s center and how far they’ve traveled.

“As you can see, we’ve had plenty of traffic there this summer,” he said. “It’s been a good turnout, and actually I think our busiest stretch has been these last three weeks ... We’ve had plenty of foot traffic, and people are seeing what’s going on there.”

Frey also shared some of the upcoming events and items

“The biggest piece we’re working on, and it can go in many different directions, is workforce development,” he said. “Angela (Hamberg), as you know, has been very busy with that. She’s been the inspiration and leader for the workforce development initiative, and we have been right there with her as a partnership with those efforts.”

Frey noted they have helped with the open houses, the training programs and publicizing the events.

“She was also instrumental in getting the Business Advisory Council with the schools started,” he said.

Frey noted the upcoming Sept. 24 workforce development with the New Bremen teachers.

“Really the whole crux of that is trying to get schools and students and parents around the same table as businesses and municipalities so that the schools understand and the parents understand what is out there available to students once they graduate.”

Frey also noted a Freshman Exploration Academy with the high school freshmen who would connect the students with businesses on Dec. 4 at the south branch of the YMCA.

“This gives them the opportunity to talk with local businesses and what kind of education is going to be required in order for them to get on that career track,” he said.

Frey said the chamber is also going to be at the second business to business expo at the Galleria on Nov. 14, with a new morning session involving eighth-grade students from around the county to concentrate on networking.

“They need to learn how to communicate face to face, so we’re going to teach them how to work the room and how to get that 30-second elevator speech together and how to shake hands and make eye contact, and then we’re going to set them loose on the businesses and let them speed network around the room,” he said.

“It’s all again in that vein of career development.”

Frey also noted the chamber’s promotional work, such as with Pumpkinfest that will be Sept. 28 and 29, and its new venture — cash mobbing. During a cash mob, a group of people shows up at a shop and spends a predetermined amount of money. He said they are planning on holding the next mob at the Amsterdam Center in New Bremen.

Another new venture with the chamber is The New Neighbors of Southwest Auglaize County.

“What we’re trying to do ... We’re trying to reach out and provide a service and a fellowship to folks who aren’t from around here,” Frey said.

“Just to try and help them see we are welcoming and hospitable and we do want you in our community.”

He said the group includes scheduling various social events and networking programming, as well as creating a new neighbor packet.

In other business, Mayor Jeff Pape noted they are looking for additional volunteers for a cleanup day to be held Sept. 22 at Bremenfest Park beginning at 8 a.m., and Cider Time will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 28. Councilor Denny Burnell noted the Fall Yard and Plant Care seminar will be held at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Lockkeeper’s House.

Councilors also:

• Passed, as an emergency, a resolution to authorize Village Administrator Wayne York to apply for FEMA storm damage reimbursement from expenses incurred from the late June storms, for approximately $10,000 to $14,000 worth of expenses.

• Passed the third reading of a resolution to seek bids for a 4,000 gallon tanker for the New Bremen Fire Department.

• Had the third reading of a resolution authorizing York to apply for an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to be used for the resurfacing of Walnut Street. The project would have to start after July 1.

• Had the first reading of an ordinance to increase the compensation paid to village councilors effective with members elected in the 2013 election to an appropriate figure, with Burnell voting against the measure. Councilors said they wanted to discuss how the effects of SB 343 could affect the pay before passing the measure.

The next meeting of the New Bremen Village Council will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the municipal center.