United Community Partners P.O. BOX 545 Halfway, Oregon 97834 president@unitedcommunitypartners.org 541-742-4065

Minutes – December 3, 2012

1:30-3:30pm, Halfway Library

Present: Ruai Gregory, Bill Schuhle, Mark Christianson, Denise Christianson, Linda Collier, Liz McLellan, Bill Shields, Brandie Lincoln, Lauri Bryan, Larry Miller

  1. Minutes: Nov. minutes read and approved.
  2. Treasurer’s Report: (see attached)
  3. Project Updates:

Bandstand: Steve’s letter (see attached); Mark commented on sound systems: need for working with local musicians in researching appropriate components; Bill Shields: Cornucopia Arts Council would like to sponsor at least 3 events.  Community groups are expressing support.  Bill proposed placing the bandstand at a slightly different location at Pat’s Park for clearer visibility. Lauri and Brandie, representing the Chamber of Commerce, mentioned a concern regarding who the “event planner” would be.  It would be very important to have a main person in charge to promote and coordinate events.  Bill Shields reminded them that the proposal includes a budget to pay a person for this job, and would also plan to coordinate a few volunteers too.  Denise agreed that long range sustainability for this project is key, and the hiring of an event planner is a must.  Denise also expressed accessibility concerns regarding Main St. in terms of numbers of elderly who would have to walk several blocks if parking is a problem to attend a downtown event.  Bill Shields addressed this concern from an economic development viewpoint: the benefits to downtown business is the prime concern.  He also said the stage would be built on skids, and therefore moveable to other locations, such as Lion’s Park and the fairgrounds. Liz pointed out the role of online visibility (via our website and facebook page) in publicizing events. Denise spoke as a Baker City business owner regarding declining customers.  Brandie agreed that this is a current issue out here as well.  Discussion ensued regarding various ways to increase customer attraction.  Lauri mentioned the importance of vibrant, attractive additions such as the bandstand.  Ruai shared the success of the latest Ford Family Foundation’s Baker cohort that is moving forward with a project to create a bronzed salt lick sculpture for downtown Baker City.  Denise expressed opposition to the idea of UCP contributing funds to the project, but said she’s in favor of the project.  She provided information on two online classes in grant writing, and felt a better role for UCP, reflecting our mission and vision, is to fund a grant writer.  She also felt that at least 3 other groups in town would like UCP to donate funds to their projects.  Ruai reminded her that the other 3 projects are not on the table. Larry mentioned that there are at least 15-20 events going on each weekend in NE Oregon. The possibility of people traveling from event to event is quite strong.  Brandie and Lauri addressed this concept too, and mentioned Timothy Bishop’s (Marketing Director for Baker County) work in promoting Halfway, along with the rest of Baker County.

Action: among the members present, (with one member, Denise, dissenting) it was agreed to accept the Bandstand proposal and provide $5,000.00 to launch it.

PEEF: Lauri gave an update.  They advocated strongly for the school to hire a new music teacher, which they have done.  Wix Covey will be offering a Friday morning art class for jr. high-high school students beginning in January.  They are still funding after school guitar and fiddle classes.  The group is still awaiting news on their application for nonprofit status.   They will be reapplying for the Braemer grant again through UCP this spring. They have a new website. Liz described the new report form available for each project to use on our UCP website.

Cross Country Ski Group: Linda said they are waiting to hear from the Leo Adler foundation.  They applied for $7,000.00.  They have a room at the school to use for equipment, and are working with the PE teacher.  Now, all they need is snow!

  1. Website update: Liz continues work on the website.  She added information on it to Mark’s article he wrote for the Hells Canyon Journal.  Linda took photos of this meeting and will edit the article so that it appears soon in the paper.
  2. UCP future plans: Ruai would like to have a meeting soon during which by-laws and vision statement are revisited.
  3. Next mtg. date: Jan. 7, 2013, 1:30pm, Halfway Library.
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