MOUNDRIDGE – Thursday’s Moundridge Chamber of Commerce meeting at Underhill Farms was less than cheery.

The initial, light-hearted discussions of the week’s storm that knocked out power to the town quickly turn more serious.

During Treasurer Keith Goering’s report, the chamber was made aware that its bank account didn’t match the outstanding bills that need to be paid.

Goering said the chamber has a bank balance of $190.91.

“But we have a problem,” he said.

The number of bills that need to be paid total $973.79.

“That does sound like a problem,” Chamber President Rick Krehbiel said.

Of the 16 members in attendance, several suggested sending out renewal notices to get members to pay for the coming term and generate some money to pay off the debts.

Linda Stucky asked where all the money had gone, and Goering said the problem was the reserve that was built up was eaten up over time.

Board Member Wayne Fisher said a budget needed to be developed to keep the chamber on track financially in regards to advertising, supplies, programs, sponsorship and other expenditures in an attempt to prevent overspending.

“If we run out of money in a certain area, that’s just the way it goes,” he said. “We need to get a budget put together that has everything. We need to look at it very, very significantly and figure out what we need and what we can afford based upon the dues we bring and the proposed of what we think we will get from Black Kettle and the golf tournament.”

Krehbiel said the monthly board meeting needed to be held sooner than normal.

“I think we ought to look at moving it,” he said.

Activities Director Lisa Teter said the meeting would be held at 7 a.m. Thursday at the Moundridge Food Market.

Rosemary Fisher asked if the Black Kettle Festival actually did well as previously stated.

Goering said it didn’t.

“We didn’t make anything,” he said. “Some of these bills just came in.”

Krehbiel asked if all the bills were in now, and Goering said he thought so.

Golf Tourney Slated For Aug. 29

Krehbiel said the annual chamber golf tournament would be held Aug. 29 at Hesston Golf Park.

It is being held earlier this year to work better with scheduling, Krehbiel said.

Businesses can sponsor holes for $25, Teter said.

So far, Teter said, there are 11 hole sponsors.

Teter said the format would be a four-person scramble with an 8 a.m. shotgun start.

Prizes will be awarded.

It will cost $10 for three mulligans.

Speaker Sought For Annual Meeting

Krehbiel said the annul meeting is slated to take place Sept. 17.

A speaker of interest to the local business committee would be preferred.

Teter and Krehbiel both said they had tried to contact a few possibilities, two of which were local legislators.

Rosemary Fisher reminded the chamber that it has to be careful of having political speakers because chambers cannot endorse politicians, so if the politico in question is up for reelection, having him or her speak could cause problems.

“Any ideas would be appreciated,” Krehbiel said. “Let me know if you have some ideas about what you would like to hear.”

County Extension Agent Gives Presentation

Jana McKinney, McPherson county extension agent family and consumer sciences, told the chamber members ways to save money via the Kansas Saves program, which is part of the America Saves program.

“Build wealth, not debt,” she said.

McKinney said it is a social marketing campaign.

“So it is on the Internet,” she said. “It begins to help teach people the importance of saving money.”

McKinney said the campaign was implemented to combat the notion that people are told to spend money, especially in a time when stimulus dollars are flowing freely.

“Who controls your money? You do,” she said. “Small changes can yield big results.”

The program helps give people accountability, McKinney said, because it puts someone in place as an overseer to help make sure participants are staying on track.

McKinney said help is also available for health care.

“They can get extra help,” she said. “It is a simple form to fill out.”

McKinney said she encourages people to take advantage of the programs she talked about because they can really help during these harsh economic times.

“If we do just a little bit at a time, it can add up over the long haul,” she said.

For more information about any of the programs McKinney talked about, contact her at the McPherson County Extension Office at 620-241-1523.

Historical Association Working On Agricultural Museum

Rosemary Fisher said the Moundridge Historical Association is making headway in fixing up the Agricultural Museum on the west edge of town.

“We are just now getting to the fun part where things are falling into place,” she said.

Fisher said volunteers meet every Tuesday morning to work on the museum.

“We’re really proud of what we’re doing,” she said. “I’m anxious for you to see the inside.”

Fisher also announced that the 2009 Homestead Trail Celebration would be Oct. 13.

“It is the second Saturday,” she said. “We’re preparing for that. I hope everyone can make it out.”

Next Meeting Scheduled

The next Moundridge Chamber of Commerce meeting will be held at noon July 16.

It is scheduled to take place at Block 32 Eatery and Pub.

The meal will cost $6.

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