Thoughts on 2020

A Brief Update of Some Events & Items

NEW MEETING DAY, TIME & LOCATION: The Chamber has moved from evening meetings to lunchtime meetings in an attempt to have more face-to-face communications. We will be meeting a Jacks Kitchen again this month on Thursday December 3rd at noon. All attendees will have lunch of their choice, free of charge.

HOLIDAY LIGHT CONTEST: If you are wondering what Christmas Light Contest has the largest cash pay-out in New York, its right here. Again, this year, a Chamber member is offering one free month of electricity or $500 cash (whichever is less) for the Christmas Light contest. The contest is repeated again for Valentines Day (red, white, pink lights) and a third time for St Patrick’s Day (green & white lights). Every business, house, mobile home, home-owner and renter can participate. Click here for more details.

ELECTIONS & VACANCIES: First, congratulations to Manchester Town Supervisor Jeff Gallahan who is replacing Brian Kolb in the NY Assembly. With the sudden and very sad passing of Secretary Ken Reeve’s and a need to follow our own by-laws, the Chamber is accepting applicants who would be interested in serving as an officer. Any RJ school District resident can apply. Just a short and insufficient note about Ken: Ken served on many committees in our community from the Library Board, to the RJCDC, and as an officer for more than a decade. He will be missed and always remembered by those who worked with him in making the community a better place to live. Our Thursday January 7th lunch meeting at Jack’s Kitchen is scheduled for elections and a review of 2021 planned events.

LIFETIME AWARDS: Every so often we take time to offer special recognition to individuals that have steadfastly supported the Chamber. Date and location to be announced post COVID.

COMMUNITY SLED PROGRAM: Last year an experiment of providing 20 toboggans to Budd Park was implemented. The intent was to get an accurate read on theft and destruction of items that are portable in preparation of a possible Community Bike Program. We were pleased to see that most of the sleds were present at the end of the season and that an increase of recreational activity was realized. We will be replenishing the inventory and include “Budd Park” on the sled to further detract against theft.

RECLAIMED TROUT POND AND PARK EXPANSION: In another partnership with the DEC, Chamber member NAPA Auto Parts, a private Chamber Member, Marks Engineering, the Village of Shortsville, and the Town of Manchester we will begin the reclamation project this winter of a long-lost trout pond that was found on maps dated from the 1870’s. The pond will be used by the DEC as a trout hatchery with an annual release directly into Mink Creek. The pond will also have markers anchored to the bed, and just below the surface of the water for easy placement and attachment of hockey goals and borders during the winter months. The property was purchased by a Chamber member at a below market price from the generous George Payne family and will be donated to the Village for incorporation into Budd Park. Yet, another attraction to pull people into the community.

WILD WATER DERBY: It appears that the vaccines will be here by the end of the year and society will be acceptable to large scale events. We look forward to hosting the Derby the last weekend in April. If you would like a raft built for your business/employees, please contact Matt Schaertl who can make the arrangement for you.

PHEASANT AVIARY: Constructed this March near Budd Park the aviary will be stocked again this coming summer by the DEC. Special thanks to resident John Cascini who helped Chamber member Matt Schaertl with fencing, the Cemetery Association who allowed the construction on their property, Chamber member M&S Tree Service for the wood chips used on the trail, and Chamber member Stalwart Packaging that donated the subbase to firm up the soil along with the manpower and machinery to move the truckloads of wood chips into place.

COMMUNITY BICYCLE PROGRAM: Originally sought for last year, the demand of bicycles cleaned out the supply chain nationwide. It was impossible to purchase the 20 unique bikes we had hoped for as the manufacturer had to close to production due to COVID. RVE of Canandaigua estimates it will be 2-3 years before inventory is back to normal. Unfortunately, a recent spat of bike thefts has also dampened the desire to invest funds where they are not appreciated or cared for. We will see what happens come Springtime.

TREE EFFORT: The elm bore has decimated many trees in the region. While it is not as noticeable today, it will have a significant visual impact on all communities. Future ice storms and falling trees are certain to cause power outages, building destruction, loss of curb appeal, erosion, and flooding. It is anticipated that new trees and saplings will be in very high demand by all municipalities which will drive up cost. If possible, we would like to get ahead of that curve and look at more cost-effective options and solutions. Federal studies show accidents are less likely to occur on tree lined streets and drivers are 17% less likely to speed. Trees also increase curb appeal as they are viewed by potential new home buyers as beneficial canopy for nicer homes and visual barriers of poorly maintained homes.

PUMPKIN WALK: Despite many hurdles and a Health Department that changed its position daily (hourly in on instance), strong winds, and issues with our preferred music venue, the event did take place and a profit was realized. It will be returning again on Columbus Day Weekend.

STREET DANCE: Scheduled to coincide with Columbus Day weekend and the Pumpkin Walk, this year’s “Oktoberfest” style dance and big band was cancelled due to crowd restrictions. We look forward to trying again this coming year.

TIP OF THE HAT: In continuing our long-standing policy remaining politically neutral, we would like to thank the businesses that refrained from posting political signs in their establishments and the candidates that did not ask them to do so. Political opinions can be emotional and, regardless of political party, can drive away retail customers. It is difficult to gain customers and too easy to lose them. Nothing is possible without a profit and no profits are possible without customers.