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  • Discover Austin is promoting “Be a Tourist in Your Hometown” with the ABC’s of business. Chamber Bucks will be presented for First, Second and Third place. Entrants must show sales receipts from 20 businesses whose name starts with the letters A-Z. The traveling Vietnam Wall will be in Austin, this weekend. Large crowds are expected. Legion Riders will be in Austin for their state convention, August 21-22.
  • Riverland. President Atewologun received Phi Theta Kappa’s Shirley Gordon award for outstanding president. An evening LPN course will be offered next spring.
  • City of Austin. Property owners in SE Austin will be inspected for sump pumps this summer.
  • Austin Public Schools will begin an $11M McPhail project early next year. A Facilities Task Force is recommending construction of a new Early Learning Center at a cost of $30-$40 million.  A referendum is expected this November.


Bullets From the Board


Next meeting will be at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in the Town Center Conference Room

  • Freedom Fest. Draft copies of the 2018 calendar of events were shared with directors. This year’s event will cover 5 days, June 29-July 4. Over 150 business and organizational sponsors have donated. Fireworks Raffle tickets were distributed. All directors are asked to sell at least 20 tickets. Budget from raffle sales is $20,000.
  • Leadership Austin graduation was held May 10 at the Austin Country Club. Twenty-six people received certificates. Supervisors, sponsors, day and year leaders were invited to the luncheon. The committee is now seeking candidates for the 2018-19 class. Marmsoler noted that they will also consider organizing a reunion of past graduates to be held sometime during the year.
  • Someplace Special community profile magazines are now available; 7,000 copies were printed. The magazine can also be viewed on the Chamber’s website.
  • Mower County CEO will host a Meet & Greet with investors and the 2018-19 class, 6:45 a.m. Friday, May 25. Forstner noted that any board member interested in attending was invited. Invitations have been sent to all investors and friends by the CEO Board.
  • Government Affairs will host the Minnesota Chamber, 12 p.m. Monday, June 4 as part of their Statewide Policy Tour. The site has not been determined. Anyone interested in attending should contact Sandy at the Chamber. CliftonLarsonAllen is the event sponsor.
  • Housing Study. The Chamber submitted a letter to the City of Austin asking the Mayor to reform a housing task force. The issue has been discussed by various city leaders, Enright noted, and she expects the city to move forward. Forstner asked the Board for their input and volunteers. Bill Budion volunteered to work on the task force.  Others noted that the housing shortage continues and has become a real challenge for recruiting new employees, particularly young professionals. Johnson said Albert Lea had a similar problem. Enright said everyone realized there was a shortage, but coming up with meaningful solutions would be challenging.