Arietta cuts support to chamber of commerce

By CRISTINE MEIXNER

Editor

PISECO -- The Arietta Town Board has cut the amount of money the town will pay Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce from $12,000 last year to $10,000 this year. The April 7 vote was unanimous.

Arietta has had an agreement with the chamber for many years under which the chamber publicizes the town. However, the board "feels the Town of Arietta should review the scope of services the Chamber provides for the Town and [the] amount of monetary support [it pays] in return for said services."

The board agreed to enter into a one-year contract with the chamber retroactive to Jan. 1 and to pay $10,000 for the chamber's services during the year. Payment is quarterly.

Anna Smith from the chamber addressed the board during budget preparation in October of 2013. She said the chamber's expenses each year run "right around" $80,000, with Arietta representing about 15 percent of that.

"General advertising includes all member towns," she said. "The chamber has a new website and is on Facebook now. We're looking into online marketing because that's what people do, that's where they go."

Noting the town gave the chamber about $12,000 for 2013, Supervisor Rick Wilt said, "I think we've gotten it down to where the board is comfortable for now."

He asked Smith to find out "who pays what in relation to the Town of Lake Pleasant. Right now the numbers are just pulled out of the air. Based on what [former President] Kathleen Connelly told us last year we would cut our portion to $7,000."

INFO OFFICE INCLUDED

Smith pointed out that although the chamber represents businesses, town donations include the Information Office. "Lake Pleasant and Speculator are paying for an Office of Tourism, not the businesses," she said.

"I think an equation would be the best solution," Wilt said after Smith left. "How many businesses does the Town of Arietta have left?"

Wilt said Monday, "The board is not happy with what we got." He explained he has been trying to get financials from the chamber, to no avail. "I've gone to their meetings," he said. "They promise and then nothing comes."

OTHER BUSINESS

-- Mel LaScola will be hired as a laborer so he can start working and training with Code Enforcement Officer John Casey to be the town's next CEO. LaScola is currently a member of the planning board, a position he will have to give up if he is appointed CEO.

-- Casey reported he has permit applications for three replacement houses and two new houses so far this year, which is already better than each of the last few years.

-- A 2007 Chevrolet SLV will be put up for sale on the Auctions International website, after first being offered to towns within the county. The minimum bid is $4,000.

-- The board awarded construction of the fuel farm upgrades at Piseco Airport to Baseline King Corporation, Barneveld.

The Arietta Town Board will next meet Monday, May 5, starting at 6 p.m. at Piseco Community Hall.

Note: This article is partially based on minutes of the Arietta Town Board meeting of April 7, 2014 as provided by Town Clerk Kenneth Parslow.