Dear Chamber Supporters:
It is starting to feel like summer is winding down…students go back to school today, Ottawa University students are back in town, even the temperatures the past couple of days have been, shall we say, not oppressive…and, of course the Chiefs are beginning to play preseason games. Every year prior to OU students arriving back in Ottawa the Chamber partners with the OU Advancement team to go in all downtown Ottawa businesses to provide information about the university and make sure they have a “welcome back students” sign to display.
We also set the stage for OU Fusion which is August 27. Fusion is an evening when all OU students come downtown to eat…the University food service prepares the meal which is served on the lawn of the Court House. We block Main Street from 3rd Street to 4th Street from 6-8 and many local businesses provide games and activities for the students. There will be a DJ playing music…it’s all very festive. The entire community is invited to eat with the students. There is a small cost for the meal but I encourage you to come…it will be a fun evening.
Kansas City Star:
Ottawa was again noted this week in a regional article…you can read it here. It is positive to get good press after all the flood coverage a couple of weeks ago…shows our community in a better light. I don’t think we realize or know the potential for Legacy Square yet. The Chamber is getting calls every week now about renting the space for different functions or festivals. It will be fun to see what we can bring into the community going forward.
In addition to Legacy Square there are still a lot of new construction projects going on in town…the project at 4th and Main is fun to watch. That building will have a new look…most I talk with are anxious to see the final product. Here are pictures of the new car wash…it is really coming out of the ground now. I visited with the construction manager, Doug Coil this week…they hope to be open by October 1.
The new dentist office south of Orscheln’s is nearing completion…pictures here. Dr. Leanne Drumright-Desch…grew up in Ottawa and is returning home. You can see her Facebook page here for her practice.
We are cutting the ribbon on the new Fusion Bowling Alley in one week…I stepped in to take a look this week. Here are a few pictures…it’s quite impressive but there is still a bit of work to complete in the week ahead. When I was there they were testing the pin setting machines…you could hear the familiar crack of the pins falling and then being reset. This will be fun space and a great addition to Ottawa!!
The Pie Pit:
The Chamber has had a videographer in town this past week to refresh our welcome videos on our webpage. I can’t wait to share the finished project withyou. Ryland escorted him about town to get Ottawa footage and also took him to several downtown businesses to get a flavor of our community.
We treated him to lunch at the Pie Pit…the new restaurant/antique and fun items store at 306 South Main Street…here is their Facebook page. I also took acouple of pictures…it was really packed and this was at 1:00. In speaking withowner, Michele Sheets they have been incredibly busy this week. The business started out opening at 7:00 a.m. and serving breakfast…but because they were selling out of pies every day they needed the time they were cooking and serving breakfast to bake more pies. They have a good menu (you can see it on their Facebook page) which includes soups, salads and sandwiches. It is another delicious lunch choice for noon lunches.
Franklin County Farm Bureau:
I attended our local Farm Bureau annual meeting this week…here are a few pictures from the event. The Roy Dunn family was honored for having a Sesquicentennial Farm…same farm in the same family for 150 years. In my pictures you can see Roy with a couple of his grandkids. The speaker was the CEO of the State organization, Terry Holdren. Terry is a longtime friend from my years in Farm Bureau and also from the time I worked in Topeka. At that time in his career he worked in the Capitol every day advocating for Farm Bureau and their policies. The state organization worked hard this last year to get legislation to help farmers and ranchers receive affordable health insurance. The work Farm Bureau does is important…educating and advocating for agriculture is essential. You know the old saying, “don’t criticize a farmer with food in your mouth.” As our society continues to urbanize understanding where our food, fiber and much of our energy comes from must be a priority.
Ottawa Optimist Club:
Chamber members drank coffee with the Franklin County Optimist Club this morning…pictures here. The local service club prides itself in bringing out the best in our youth in our community and in themselves. Ron Spencer is a local Optimist and has been since the club founded in September of 1974. One of 2 remaining charter members…the other is Al Keefer. Often considered to be Ottawa’s breakfast club because they meet at 6:30 in the morning, the group shared this morning there is actually a group which meets at noon now and also a group in Wellsville which meets in the evening. The local civic group does great things for Ottawa youth and has for years. They have 53 members and are looking for more youth supporters to join their numbers. If you are interested, call the Chamber and we can put you in touch with local members.
We can start to get a real sense of the finished product now…here are this week’s pictures. The roofs are near complete and concrete work continues but will wind down soon now. The biggest pieces of work to complete are the electrical and the landscaping. The restroom is just about ready to plumb and will be complete soon. Bones Landscaping has been installing the Legacy Bricks this week…here are pictures of organizing and putting the puzzle together.
Next week we will turn in our last order of Legacy Bricks…if you have not already ordered do it now. Here are the links for the 4” x 8” bricks are $120.00and the 8” x 8” bricks are 200.00. Also, here is a picture of a mural being completed on the back of one of the businesses in the 100 block and adjacent to Legacy Square…this is a nice addition.
A couple of quick things in closing…we still have a few seats available for Eggs and Issues to hear David Toland, Kansas Secretary of Commerce speak. You can register here but please do so today.
Make sure your calendar is marked for the Legacy Square ribbon cutting at 8:00 on Friday, September 6 and then the Travis Marvin concert that evening.
Finally…we have 3 grandkids either starting Preschool or Kindergarten this fall. Here are their first day of school pictures. First day done and only 17 more years to go!!
Talk to you next week…
Onward ~ John
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce