Ward 4 City Councilor Linda Spyres and City Treasurer Lanny Williams are asking the city council to discuss whether new contract negotiations might be necessary with the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We just want to have an open discussion where the four of us [councilors] can actually talk about it and not violate the Open Meeting Act,” Spyres said Wednesday.

She and Williams requested the discussion and possible action be placed on the agenda for Monday evening’s council meeting.

“I feel like we should look at it, see if it needs to be revised,” said Spyres. “The [contract] I have was signed back in 2010, so I think we just need to take a really good look at it and see if there’s anything we do want to change. It’s just a really good time to go over it.”

The city has previously contracted with the Chamber of Commerce for a variety of purposes. City Clerk Deb Corn said the last two contracts between the city and chamber were signed 2010 and 2011.

In the 2010 contract, councilors approved paying the chamber $7,500 per year – $625 per month – for retail development and recruitment. Under the contract, the chamber was to collect demographic information related to new business recruitment; perform market research and analysis; identify markets that were under-served or not served; solicit community input; and other conduct other business.

The chamber was also to assist local retailers with marketing options; develop and maintain a list of commercial leasing opportunities for expansion or relocation of current retail establishments; and encourage beautification efforts throughout the city.

According to the contract, the terms were to self-renew every year unless otherwise terminated.

A copy of the chamber’s 2014-’15 budget shows the chamber expects to bring in $7,500 from the city contract. The current budget was approved at the June meeting.

The city also contracted with the chamber in 2011 for $1,500 when city leaders sought input on a strategic plan for the community. As part of the agreement, the chamber was to organize four community meetings to seek public input, and then seek professional assistance from the Oklahoma Community Institute.

City officials also signed self-renewing contracts with the chamber to allow for distribution of the hotel-motel tax, which is collected by the city and later provided to the chamber for tourism development. The last contract for the hotel-motel tax agreement was signed in 2006, according to records provided to the Daily Press.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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