Siler City NC STEP Community Leadership Team Meeting May 12, 2011 Meeting Minutes Community Leadership Team Present (35): Lisa Andrews, Jean Baird, Ann Bass, Travis Cohn, Pat Dawson, Nita Dukes, Dr. John Dykers, Mike Gates, Dewitt Griffin, Delphine Harvey, Pamela Hawe, Sarah Kuhn, Sara Lambert, Linda Lehman, Tori Mazur, Vieda Mazur, Martin McDonald, Cheryl Meads, Steve Meads, Chana Meeks, Jonus Nobles, Wandee Norwood, Roger Person, David Poe, Dianne Reid, Alma Rios, Donna Sivulka, Sammy Slade, Gabriel Soltren, Alyssa Stepusin, Chuck Stires, Carol Straight, Dan Sundberg, Sue Szary, and Joan Underwood Elected Officials Present: Mayor Charles J. Johnson NC Rural Center Staff Present: Chilton Rogers (NC STEP Coach) Town Staff Present: Joel J. Brower (Town Manager), Jack Meadows (Director of Planning and Community Development, NC STEP Community Coordinator) and Dee Lee Thompkins (Administrative Support Specialist) Welcome and Announcements: The Community Leadership Team met on Thursday, May 12, 2011, at Jordan Matthews High School at 5:15 p.m. Mayor Johnson welcomed and thanked everyone for coming STEP Workshop: Chilton Rogers announced that six Siler City STEP Team Members will be attending the workshop on “Small Towns Creating Opportunities: Investing in People” in Red Springs on Monday May 23rd. NC Rural Center Information: Chilton Rogers passed out flyers about upcoming Rural Center workshops on “Cost Analysis Tool for Rural Wastewater Needs”. Chilton also shared three Rural Center publications Rural North Carolina in the Aftermath of the Great Recession, Asset-Building Strategies for Low-Income Families, and A Guidebook for Connecting Individuals to Opportunity. The publications can be found in Jack Meadows’ office or ordered from www.ncruralcenter.org. Facebook: Chilton thanked Alyssa Stepusin for the great job on creating Siler City STEP Team Facebook page. Carolina Field Trips Magazine: Sara Lambert shared a copy of Carolina Fields Trips magazine she obtained from her church. She suggested that if Dunn can advertise in the magazine, then Siler City could. Chatham County Economic Development Corporation: Dianne Reid announced that the County EDC Board voted to approve ArnettMuldrow to complete the branding service for Chatham County for $15,000. Dianne stated that Gabriel Soltren will be a summer intern with the EDC and be responsible for completing an inventory of all existing business in Siler City. REDI Report: Wandee Norwood encouraged everyone to spend at least $20 each week in Siler City. She also talked about finding wealth in your community from philanthropic giving and community foundations. Wandee also shared that thinking outside of the box, defining a clear message, and rolling up your sleeves can help develop good projects. Jack Meadows followed by offering grant resources: 1) Duke Endowment, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, www.grants.org, and the public library; 2) grant projects should think regionally, have partners, and be green; and 3) letters of support should not be cookie cutter (each partner should explain specifically how they are going to help the project). Jack said that a good leader is someone with a good heart and is a good listener. Page 2 – Siler City NC STEP – May 12, 2011 Meeting Minutes Jack also offered information about what the Town of Elkin has done: 1) hired a Main Street Director and became a NC Main Street Community; 2) paid the local SBTDC $15,000 to complete a Economic Development Plan and then hired an economic development staff person; 3) completed the NC STEP process; 4) obtained $2 million from the Golden Leaf Foundation’s Community Assistance Initiative to help develop the Surry County Workforce Development Center; 5) addressed excess water and sewer capacity by joining a regional sewer authority and selling water to adjoining communities; and 6) recently announced the opening of Pittsburg Glass Works (260 employees and $85 million investment). The Town of Elkin credited their recent economic development success to the planning process, regional cooperation, and open communication with neighboring communities. Elkin realizes that sometimes they win and sometimes their neighbors win but if one community benefits, then they all do. Branding and the Services of ArnettMuldrow: Chilton Rogers asked for a motion to approve ArnettMuldrow to complete the branding service for Siler City for approximately $8,500. Chilton read the proposal as requested by the Team. Some team members asked questions about the need and timing of the branding process. Chilton stated that we are at the right stage to begin a branding process. She also added based on our discussions and community assessment there is a need to mend the Town’s self image. A motion was made by Vieda Mazur, Steve Meads seconded followed by unanimous consent. Economic Development Strategies: Chilton Rogers asked for strategies and the Team responded with the following: 1) preservation of historic buildings; 2) LEED certification; 3) green building code; 4) CCCC green courses; 5) develop an energy plan for Siler City; 6) improve energy efficiency of existing homes especially manufactured homes; 7) condition and use of downtown buildings; 8) biodiesel farming; 9) green employment opportunities; 10) savings from being green; 11) retirement community; 12) retirement industry offers a potential for service workers, health, entertainment, facilities; 13) develop and strengthen the arts, 14) build art partnerships with Seagrove, neighbors, and other STEP Towns; 14) film industry; 15) wellness theme; 16) integrative medicine; 17) compounding pharmacy; 18) permanent agricultural expo center since agriculture is one of our strengths; 19) support and develop entrepreneurship (small businesses); 20) small manufacturing incubator; 21) grants to small business; 22) pipeline for youth; 23) build retail options for downtown and US 64; 24) competitive advantage in food (labor force and local sources), distribution, and Siler City Municipal Airport; 25) marketing for locals and visitors to spend dollars; and 26) support exiting business. Strategy Committees: Chilton identified five strategies and began assigning each attendee to one strategy committee: 1) Energy: Wandee Norwood, Dan Sandberg, Pamela Hawe, Sammy Slade, Vieda Mazur, and Sara Lambert; 2) Business Development: Gabriel Soltren, Cheryl Meads, Steve Meads, Sarah Kuhn, Carol Straight, Alma Rios, Dianne Reid, Travis Cohn, Dr. John Dykers, and David Poe; 3) Retirement: Chuck Stires, Donna Sivulka, Dewitt Griffin, Linda Lehman, and Jean Baird; 4) Arts: Sue Szary, Jonas Nobles, Roger Person, and Ann Bass; and 5) Marketing: Alyssa Stepusin, Pat Dawson, Joan Underwood, Lisa Andrews, and Chana Meeks. Strategy Committee Report: To assist each Strategy Committee in developing their strategies Chilton Rogers handed out three documents: 1) NC STEP Strategy Development Framing Your Strategy; 2) [Town Name] Economic Development Strategy: xxxxxx; 3) [Town] Economic Development Strategy: Content description. Chilton stated that each Strategy Committee must meet at least twice and submit a Final Strategy Committee Report (to Jack Meadows) before June 7, 2011. Adjourn – Next Meeting Date: The next meeting will be on Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 5:15 PM. The meeting adjourned at 7:45 PM.
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