This month, the Norwood Chamber of Commerce awarded two $1,000 beautification grants. The grants were open to one business on Grand Avenue, and one other business or a personal residence on Norwood’s main street.
Just weeks ago, the chamber’s executive board evaluated the applicants in its September monthly meeting. Then, the board decided those awards should go to 1) A Total Image Salon (owned by Tanya Morlang) for sidewalk repair and 2) Maggie’s Pizza (owned by Spencer and Lana Cooper) for a street-front window upgrade.
The chamber has made beautifying Norwood — the streets, businesses’ exteriors and main street homes — one of its goals in an effort to promote the town’s image and to encourage through-traffic to stop and experience the area.
Last year, the chamber supported other sidewalk repairs in town for the benefit of both businesses and consumers. It also helped the Lone Cone Restaurant and Bar receive a new facelift in 2015.
Chamber board member Carrie Andrew said she was pleased with this year’s grant awards decisions.
“Our businesses work so hard to serve our community on a daily basis and to make ends meet,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to be able to provide a little monetary support for a beautification project that they might not be able to do otherwise.”
At the same time, the chamber continues to plan for additional beautification. That includes the “triangle” or the “island” on the west end of Highway 145. There, the chamber will install landscaping, once the raw water tap becomes available.
Regarding community safety, the chamber has committed to purchasing one solar-powered flashing sign — at a cost of $1,500 — to slow people down on the west end of Summit Street. Dotson said the chamber supports making the school zone as safe as possible.
Originally, the chamber intended to place two signs on Summit Street, and the other would have been placed on the east end. When neighbors complained that the east-side sign would interfere with the beauty of the environment, the chamber listened and opted not to purchase that sign.
In other chamber news, board member Justin Williams will begin the process of revamping the chamber website. Chamber president John Dotson said the new site will be even more user-friendly and also clearer in its method of promoting what Norwood has to offer.
For the upcoming new year, an election will take place in order to put a new board of directors into place. Chamber board seats are two-year terms, and those in office are permitted to run again if they wish.
Andrew, Dotson and Sonny Lopez are now finishing their two-year terms and must make a decision on whether they will run again to serve an additional term.
Executive board members are also needed to help in the chamber’s decision making processes. Currently Morlang, Cindy Romani and Gen Roach (owner of Happy Belly Deli) are executive board members.
Dotson said executive board members must plan to attend the executive sessions. Those meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month. The meetings help the chamber board to discuss budget, projects, events and more.