Sidney Hometown Pride members spent their September meeting reviewing current and past project progress, and considering next projects to start and how they would be funded.
The group had a concession stand at the Battle with the Bulls at the end of August, and members said it was very successful. They sold drinks, popcorn and cotton candy, and those who manned the stand said they were swamped a good share of the time. The cotton candy and popcorn machines ran well, but they said given the chance, they would have a second popcorn machine running next year, to keep up.
They discussed the prices they charged, and the fact that they might have been a little low, but ultimately decided the goodwill and return visits were worth it. They noted it was a pretty good deal for the families with young kids to be able to get a pop, box of popcorn and cotton candy, all for five dollars.
From this experience, group members noted they might want to consider getting a grant for lighter weight tables and a pop-up shade for working in the heat. They eventually decided to buy those things with general fund money instead of seeking a grant.
Member Terry Graham told the group the enclosed trailer they haul their equipment in would be wrapped that week by Plum Creek Customs, and they debated the sizes and prices of future advertising on the nose of the trailer. The group eventually settled on 8 inches high by 4 foot long ads, at a cost of $250 each, with the top spot on each side of the nose costing more. Group member Brennan Vaverek indicated immediately that Arbor Bank and First Express Insurance might be interested in the top spots.
Chloe Burge Photography took the photos for the trailer wrap, and Graham indicated part of her contract included an advertising spot on the trailer.
He and the other members thought she might prefer to have her ad placed right on one of the photos she took, though, or even on all three sides.
The group noted the revenue from advertising on the trailer would be put back to use for trailer maintenance, licensing, and other such costs. They also discussed the need to add a few shelves inside in the nose, to move some equipment out of the way.
The group planned to put the trailer on display on the square as soon as it was back from Plum Creek Customs.
Members briefly discussed the housing project, with Vaverek telling them the duplex project was stalled at the moment, with the builder being concerned he couldn’t get a high enough rent in Sidney. Vaverek said he would continue working with him to try to get that project back in motion.
“I’ve had more calls in the last three to four months with people looking for places to rent than ever before,” Vaverek noted, “so the interest is out there.”
Group member Aaron Loewe told the group the second welcome sign was in the shop at that time being completed. He planned to help flag the location where it would be placed in the next week, and get it placed shortly thereafter.
The group talked about the old sign that had been up on the south side of town that listed churches and other businesses, and wondered where that sign went. Someone thought Randy Moreland had it, and the group questioned whether it might be put back up in a different edge of town location, until such time as they could get funding for a third wooden welcome sign.
The group talked about the upcoming Fremont County Community Foundation grant cycle, with Jonna Loewe telling them they had applied for funding for additional benches for the town. She wondered if they should apply for funding for the third welcome sign in the spring cycle, but several other ideas were suggested, including a utility vehicle, a rail in the rodeo ground grandstands, and a carport style of shed to park the enclosed trailer in when not in use.
Plans for an endowment meeting are still under way, and the group members were asked to bring names of people to invite to the next hometown pride meeting. They talked about Gifts of Grain, and how that works. Vaverek suggested the group might be smart to set up a few Sidney Hometown Pride accounts with local elevators before the endowment meeting was held.
In other business;
the group elected Shane Higgs the new secretary, replacing Peter Johnson, who is busy with city administration as the Sidney mayor;
Graham told the members the new Fremont County website was up and running, at FremontCountyIA.gov;
efforts to welcome new businesses will start up again;
the group planned to send out thank you notes to the businesses that donated to their Battle with the Bulls concession stand, and
the group agreed to purchase double-sided “No parking, parade route” signs for next year’s Rodeo parade.
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