Saturday, December 07, 2013
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Volunteer Margaret Johnson, left, and MICC Executive Director Jean Love pack and move boxes of brochures in preparation for the chamber's move to a new home.
September 03, 2013
INDEPENDENCE -- The Monmouth-Independence Chamber of Commerce is moving to Monmouth -- again.
The chamber moved to its current location, the old Independence public library, in August 2011 after spending two years in Monmouth.
The chamber's new home, 355 N. Pacific Ave., Suite A, is a stone's throw from the old Monmouth location -- in fact, they're on the same block, separated by a parking lot.
Independence city officials lured the chamber away from its previous Monmouth location to the old library with free rent for two years.
But now that those two years are up, the chamber's board had to decide on what to do next.
"The city did a really generous thing by having us here for the previous two years," Jean Love, MICC executive director, said. "When you look at total bills, it's projected to be over $1,200 in savings a year by going to the new location."
Knowing the agreement with Independence ended in August, the chamber's board began actively looking at properties in May.
A list of available properties were condensed and at its August meeting the board chose the location on Pacific Avenue (Highway 99W) as the best fit.
Love spent the end of last week packing up items at the Independence location and began the move to the chamber's new home on Saturday.
"The timing of the move -- with the end of the month and the first week of September when there aren't chamber-sponsored events -- it just seemed like an appropriate time," Love said. "The office will be closed the entire week as I unpack. We'll officially open the new location Monday, Sept. 9."
With the chamber's penchant for moving between Monmouth and Independence the last several years -- it moved from Independence to Monmouth in 2009, then back to Independence in 2011 -- showing favoritism to one specific city could be a concern.
With one chamber for two cities though, it's impossible to have two locations with the level of resources MICC has, and there isn't an appropriate location equidistant from both city centers.
Love stressed that the issue is not a preference for one city over the other, but simply dollars and cents.
Independence City Manager David Clyne echoed that sentiment.
"As a city, we liked having them here. It was good for the chamber, it was good for us," Clyne said. "At the end of the day, the chamber board made a decision that was in their best interest. We support the chamber and respect them."