The Jasper Merchants Association (JMA) was called to order by newly elected President Nancy Watkins.
Positions of Vice-President, Treasurer are being vacated by the current presiding members by the end of the year. Royce Haley was nominated and voted in for the position of Vice-President to replace outgoing Vice-President Evelyn Williams as of this meeting. Donna Dooly is the current Treasurer and presides over this position until a JMA member is nominated and elected into the position by the end of the 2013 year. Paul Poore volunteered to take over the position of Secretary and was voted in by members present.
John Frech of Pickens County Tourism presented the different options that they are working on to bring more people and events to Jasper. He passed around information, the new logo and packets on what they are offering for businesses and merchants in Jasper and the Pickens County. They are looking doing new renovations to the Historic Jail House. Those renovations include air conditioning and heating so the building can be visited by tourist all year round.
Special visitors to the meeting: Mayor Weaver, Jasper Police Chief Lovell, and Pickens County Sheriff Craig were there to address concerns of the JMA.
Parking: The County Courthouse employee’s (approx. 150) have been instructed to not park along Main Street. They’ve been instructed to use the new parking lot that is located ¼ mile behind the Courthouse and behind the Piggly Wiggly. There is a golf cart to be used to shuttle the employees and others attending Courthouse business from the back lot. A notice was sent out to potential jurers from Judge Weaver’s office to park in the new parking lots behind the Courthouse. It was suggested to wait a few months after the newness of the Courthouse wears off and to then address concerns again if parking continues to be an issue with Merchants on Main Street. Parking and the attendees over the Drug Court held on the S. Main Street area has been addressed by the Chief of Police and there will be a Probation Officer present outside before and after court is held to hold down the nuances of those attending.
Parking: There are no restriction along Mark Whittfield Street south of W. Church Street that runs behind The Bank of North Georgia. Merchants are encouraged to use this area for employees parking to help with keeping areas open for customers.
On Main Street Car Cruise: Combine the monthly Car Cruise In for October with the Main Street Mania event. This event will be held on October 26, 2013.
Boo-Who Scarecrows: Scarecrows need to be completed and dropped off to either Burnt Mountain Trading Company or Coco’s Cottage by September 29 or no later than the first weekend in October which is the 5th. Coco’s Cottage has put up a $50.00 cash prize. Burnt Mountain Trading Company has put up an additional $50.00 cash prize. Any other merchant wishing to add to the Boo-Who Scarecrow contest can do so by contacting Nancy Watkins or Royce Haley.
Trick or Treat on Main Street: The event will be held on Thursday, October 31st starting at 5pm and running until 7pm. A map and list of all merchants and businesses participating in this year’s event will be submitted for publication in the Pickens Progress. (A List of Merchants Participating Follows the Meeting Minutes).
Christmas: Idea was submitted to contact the Owners of the empty store front locations along Main Street to fill them with decorations or other Christmas related ideas/items so that the store frontage along Main Street doesn’t look so empty.
Farmers Market: The organizer of the Farmer’s Market, June. Would like to bring the FM back to downtown Jasper. They are starting to have the Market year round with them going to 2 weeks a month in October and going to a 9:30am to 1:30pm operating schedule. Ideas tossed around would be to close N. Main Street from the red light to D.B. Carroll on Saturday’s. This would allow the Market to set up along N. Main Street and down towards the water fountain area and bring in foot traffic to those merchants in the area. Parking at the Edge building could be used for those attending the Market.
Marble Festival: A shuttle service will be offered to those attending the event. The shuttle will run from Chattahoochee Tech to the Fairgrounds with a stop at the Marble Monument located on N. Main Street and D.B. Carroll.
Christmas Parade: Will be held on December 7, 2013. Volunteers are needed to help organize the Parade. John Watkins and Paul Poore have stepped up to help, but other members are needed to make this a success. The Pickens County Fire Department has agreed to have volunteers help with crowd control during the event.
Shop Talk: Event to be published in Pickens Progress. What this entails is several Merchants/Business getting together and putting a sum into an advertisement that has shoppers visiting those merchants for special deals. By completing a certain number merchant’s special deals would then enter the shopper into a drawing for a Grand Prize.
New Year’s Eve: Mayor Weaver brought up the idea of bringing back the New Year’s Eve Bash. It would be easy to do and would require several of the local restaurants to be open for those crowding Downtown to ring in the New Year. Ideas of Fireworks, large inflatable screen to project televised countdown, local bands performing, or having our own type of Ball Drop from the Clock Tower were tossed around.
Market Place: This event is scheduled for November 16th.
Taste of Pickens: This event is scheduled for some time in November and a possible combination event with another could be put together to bring more people into Downtown or other areas as this event is being held.
Longtable Event: This event is October 12 and is held in the middle of N. Main Street. Mayor Weaver said the city has bought new lights for the upcoming holiday season. They will start hanging the lights in the trees and along Main Street this upcoming week.
Hayrides: It was suggested that we could have another local business come and offer Hayrides during the Downtown Events. The Hayrides would run along Main Street starting at the intersection of Spring Street. A complete circular route would be determined by the merchant providing the Hayride and signed off by Jasper Police Department.
Signage: Merchants along Hwy 515 north of Hwy 108 intersection asked about Signage and getting Business signs put up along the corridor that is annexed into the city limits of Jasper. Mayor Weaver suggested a plan be put together for signage for those affected in this area and submit it to the his office for consideration. Alterations and suggestions would be made and a compromise would be reached to keep these merchants in business. There is signage on at the red light intersection of Hwy 53 and Hwy 515 pointing the direction to Downtown Jasper. A Blue Roadside Tourist Sign is in talks by the Tourism Board and GA D.O.T.
Next Meeting: The JMA next meeting will be Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6 pm to be held in the downstairs location of Burnt Mountain Trading Company, 14 Mark Whittfield, Jasper, GA 30143.
Meeting minutes submitted by secretary Paul Poore
‘TRICK or TREAT’ on MAIN STREET MERCHANT PARTICIPATES
1. Keep Pickens Beautiful
2. Bank of North Georgia
3. 61 Main
4. Quilt Shop on Main
5. Honeysuckle Florist
6. William McCurdy – Attorney
7. Coco’s Cottage
8. Carriage House
9. Pickens Progress
10. Larry Davis Optometrist
11. D.C. Chiropractic
12. Charles Fulcher – Attorney
13. Moore Furniture
14. Nature Market
15. Week’s Jewelry
16. All South Printing
17. Jasper Drugs
18. Daisy Boutique
19. Sterns Bank
20. Burnt Mountain Trading Company