The formation of the Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance represents a "wave" of collaboration occurring in Chautauqua County. The Alliance developed a common vision among key stakeholders to promote the proper management of Chautauqua Lake and its watershed to ensure the sustained health, ecology and uses of this natural resource. The formation of the CLWMA will help preserve the lake as a natural resource and the economy it supports.
Chautauqua Lake and its watershed are critically important natural resources and a foundation for the quality of life here in Chautauqua County. The lake generates business, with many salaries dependent upon the abilities of residents and visitors to use the lake. Businesses around the lake produce sales and occupancy tax dollars, and lake front properties account for just over 25 percent of the county's tax base.
The Alliance will serve some important functions: bringing together a broad range of expertise from key stakeholders to bring about strategies and implement projects that will preserve the lake and watershed; and helping to secure funding for lake and watershed projects. Chautauqua County is fortunate to have many knowledgeable people who care deeply about the area's natural resources. The CLWMA presents a venue for their wisdom to be shared, valued and leveraged. In addition, collaborative efforts such as this are much more likely to secure state and federal funding than individual agencies, and through a collaborative model investments can be maximized on strategies that will have the greatest impact on improving the health of the lake.
The Chamber commends the efforts of Lyle Hajdu, Mark Geise and many others who have laid the foundation for formation of this Alliance, and it appreciates the leadership of County Executive Vince Horrigan and former executive Greg Edwards to set the process in motion. In addition, the Chamber thanks the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, the Sheldon Foundation and Chautauqua County for investing the financial resources to start up the Alliance.
This Alliance was built with a great deal of forethought and has some good processes in place. It has a bright future ahead as key stakeholders "row" in a common direction toward the successful maintenance of Chautauqua Lake.
Unique Chamber networking event Sept. 5
The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is proud to join with the Westfield-Barcelona Community Chamber of Commerce to host a special end-of-season First Friday Networking Event on Friday, Sept. 5. One of the factors that makes this Experience Chautauqua Networking Event unique is the location: the former Welch's building in the heart of Westfield. Located at 2 S. Portage St., directly across the street from the iconic Lincoln-Bedell sculpture park, the long-time National Grape Cooperative building is now being marketed for reuse. This is a spectacular opportunity for local residents to see this building and learn about the opportunities to put this building to work once again.
The event is sponsored by Jamestown Jammers Baseball, Liazon Corporation, OBSERVER, and The Post-Journal. It will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and will include appetizers catered by Calarco's in Westfield. The cost is $10 for pre-registered guests or $12 at the door. To register, call the Chamber at 366-6200 or 484-1101 or register online at www.chautauquachamber.org.
Health insurance open enrollment coming up
Each year the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce holds a series of open enrollment meetings designed to explain options or plan changes to local business people who may be in the health insurance market. These sessions will be held this year at the Chamber's Jamestown office on Tuesday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m.; then again in the Chamber's Dunkirk office on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7:30 a.m. and again at 5:30 p.m. An additional session will be held at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 24 at the YWCA of Westfield.
These important informational seminars will help business people understand their options in both the Bright Choices and New York state exchanges. Regardless of your business status (small business owner, sole proprietor, etc.), the Chamber can help you choose the right insurance plans. The Chamber strongly encourages its existing insurance subscribers to attend these meetings, as there will be significant changes in Bright Choices plan offerings for the coming year.
The sessions are sponsored by KeyBank, Lawley Insurance and Univera Healthcare. They are free to attend, but the Chamber encourages all to register so that it can plan ahead for the number of attendees. You can register online through its website at www.chautauquachamber.org or by calling 484-1101 or 366-6200.
Taste of Fredonia Sept. 6
The 16th Annual Taste of Fredonia will be held from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 6, during the Red, White & Blues Festival at Barker Common, downtown Fredonia. The Fredonia Community Chamber of Commerce invites you to sample delicious food from local restaurants.
Save room for Restaurant Week in October
The inaugural Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Restaurant Week was so successful last year that the Chamber is bringing it back again. The dates this year are Oct. 20 to 26. Mark your calendar now! If you are a restaurant interested in participating, visit the Chamber's Facebook page for information at facebook.com/CCCCRW.