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When you think of community, what comes to mind? Schools? Businesses? Neighbors? While those things are definitely very important to community, the next time you think about that question the Chewelah Chamber of Commerce would like you to think money. That’s right - cold hard cash. Let’s face it, money makes the world go ‘round and it can keep our community strong.
With that in mind, Chewelah Chamber is kicking off our “think Local” campaign and we ask for your support. What does think Local mean? It is simple, really. Our campaign is to encourage our residents to think local first by considering shopping at businesses in Chewelah before heading out of town. Whatever you might need – groceries, gas, coffee, food, gifts, etc. – think local first to save time and money, plus help strengthen your community. We understand that there will be times when you go

outside the community to do your shopping, but all we ask is that you consider staying in Chewelah first when you have the opportunity to support our local businesses who give so much to our community.
Michael H. Shuman, author of Going Local, said it best: “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers.” By supporting local businesses, you are supporting our community. You are helping to create more jobs for our residents and more income that stays right here in Chewelah.
Janette Slaughter, Chewelah resident and Team Lead and Customer Service at Norco, Inc. in downtown Chewelah, explains what she believes shopping local really means.
“A vibrant community depends on neighbors supporting neighbors. Shopping locally keeps tax revenue in the community and allows businesses to grow providing better jobs so that citizens can make a living in the community where they live. That connects everyone in a way that encourages involvement in community service,” Slaughter said.
“At Norco it allows our business to grow so we can provide more services with better technology so people can stay in their homes longer with a more fulfilling life,” Slaughter explained about how local shopping affects her job.
IndependentWeStand.org reports that over 10,000 small businesses open every week in the United States and small businesses account for 65% of all new jobs employing 77 million Americans. A concept as simple as every American consumer shifting just $10 a month in spending to independent, locally owned businesses could generate billions in revenue and create thousands of new jobs into local economies, according to the group.
They continue to report that 89% of consumers agree that independent businesses contribute positively to local economies and that independent retailers return three times more to local economies.
“Every penny spent here, strengthens our economy by supporting our local businesses, who in turn, support our local community, organizations, activities, and events. Let’s keep it local, folks,” said Diane Evans, former owner of Gentle Dentistry for 20-plus years.
As you think about where to shop for your family and friends this holiday season as well as for future birthdays, anniversaries, etc., we hope you remember the following: Shopping at a locally owned business in your community means you have better chances to find that one-of-a-kind, unique gift for that special someone while you support the talented artists and craftsman who take great pride in their work. Another advantage to shopping local is less stress.
“Anyone who shops local can attest to better customer service, unique products, and less stressful lines. Shopping local is a better experience,” said Kevin Herda, Chewelah resident and owner of Valley Drug Co.
The Chamber would also encourage our residents to think Local with regard to our businesses that offer great services right here in town. From a variety of doctors’ offices and hair salons to full-service garages and home improvement services to insurance companies, Chewelah local businesses can take care of your every need. We have a unique community with incredible coffee shops and restaurants that offer a variety of different menu choices right here in Chewelah. Not to mention the fact that we have our own golf course, ski resort, hospital, casino, and hotels that brings people to our community. In summary, we really are the small town community that has it all. Why would you go anywhere else?
If you are looking for additional ways to help support our think Local campaign, we encourage you to purchase Chamber Bucks at the Chamber office to give as gifts. Whether you are an individual or business owner, Chamber Bucks make great gifts for any time of the year and what a great gift to receive that allows that person to go to any Chamber Business Member to buy something they want or need. In return, they are keeping it local.
Some of you may remember over the last two years the Chamber has held our Small Business Saturday contest and encouraged you to stay local that day by going around to the participating businesses and getting a stamp from each business in order to be entered into a drawing for Chamber Bucks. This year the Chamber is still having a contest, but we are changing things up a little bit in order to give you more shopping days as well as a chance to win $100 in Chamber Bucks. Our “Thanks To You” contest will start the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, November 28, and run through Sunday, December 7. Please see our ad in next week’s edition of The Independent newspaper for the specifics.
Submitted by Chewelah Chamber of Commerce

 
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In preparation for next year’s budget, the Chewelah City Council authorized a one percent increase in property tax collections for 2015 at their regular meeting on Nov. 5.
The increase, in addition to taxes from new construction and annexed properties, will result in total property tax collections of $409,275.
The council also approved new utility rates which will become effective with the December billings. A three dollar increase to the basic monthly electric charge and increases to garbage rates are the only changes for the coming year. All other rates will remain the same. Residential and small commercial electric customers will see a monthly base increase from $2 per month to $5 per month. Commercial three phase demand customers will raise from $10.60 to $13.60. Large commercial customers will increase from $208.35 to $211.35.

Base electric utility charges were lowered in 2013 from $8.60 to $2 to help customers offset a portion of increases in utility taxes and an increase in property taxes due to the city’s annexation into the Stevens County Rural Library District.
City Administrator Mike Frizzell emphasized that this new increase in base utility rates was necessary to cover a 2013 wholesale electric rate increase from Bonneville Power Administration. The council had previously decided to not pass the rate increase on to city customers.
The rate increase is expected to generate an additional $46,000 for the electric department.
Residential and commercial garbage toter customers will see a 50 cent per month increase on their utility bills. Commercial dumpster customers will see an increase as well. The increases are part of a incremental plan adopted by the council in 2013 that allows for similar garbage rate increases each year through 2017.
In other business, the council adopted a new dangerous buildings ordinance.
According to the ordinance, if the city determines that a building is “unfit for human habitation” or is “dangerous or injurious” to occupants or neighbors, the building is considered a Nuisance. Conditions indicating a Nuisance building include,”the hazards of fire or accident; inadequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects, uncleanliness, overcrowding or inadequate drainage.”
Owners of a Nuisance building will have a hearing with the Building Official (currently the City Administrator) who will give a time frame for making repairs to or demolishing the building. If repairs or removal of the building is not made, the city may undertake abatement efforts and file those expenses against the property through the Stevens County Treasurer.
The council also approved updated Public Works job descriptions, position requirements, and pay schedules. Beginning in 2015, water, sewer, and street department wages range from $19.66 to $23.02 per hour; garbage truck drivers and mechanics will earn $20.46 to $23.02; waste water treatment plant operators will be paid $23.02 to $25.90; and the Public Works Supervisor will earn $26.94 per hour.
An annual agreement with Family Support Center for 2015 was approved by the council. Family Support Center is a program of Rural Resources Community Action.
The City will pay Rural Resources $4,500 to provide services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Chewelah. According to the agreement, those services include: Trained staff/volunteers to assist victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault crimes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week; Community education and awareness to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault crimes; Recruitment of volunteers and providing them the state mandated training to assist victims; Assistance to the Chewelah Police Department when officers identify victim needs or request assistance; and provide the city with an annual report summarizing the services provided by the program.

By Jared Arnold, The Independent Staff

 
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Would you like to learn
more about gardening?
Master Gardener volunteer
training covers a wide variety
of horticulture topics and
will be interesting and fun
for anyone who loves to
garden. Applications are due
December 17.
The WSU Master
Gardener training in Stevens
County will begin January 13,
2015. This program is a blend
of online and face-to-face
training. Face-to-face classes
will be held in Colville, on
selected Tuesdays from 5-8
p.m. through May 5. There
is a onetime class fee of $125
and upon completing you
will be required to complete
40 hours of volunteer service
per year.
Applications are
available online at http://
ext100.wsu.edu/stevens/
w p - c o n t e n t / u p l o a d s /
s i t e s / 1 5 / 2 0 1 3 / 1 2 / M G -
Application-2015.pdf or stop
by the Extension office at 986
S. Main, Suite D in Colville.
For more information call
684-2588.
-Submitted by WSU Ext.

 

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