The Watertown Area Chamber of Commerce handed out its annual yearly awards at its first meeting of 2013, and also welcomed its new leadership team.
In a meeting held Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Watertown Community Center, Chiropractic Specialists of Watertown was given a plaque awarding the business as the 2012 Chamber Business of the Year. Dr. Heather (Kary) Jarvis and Office Manager Kyle Jarvis were on hand to accept the award.
The 2012 Chamber Member of the Year was Jim May, the owner of the Marketplace Foods Grocery store. May was also given a plaque as the outgoing Chamber president.
“It is easy to flourish when surrounded by great people,” May said at the meeting.
The 2013 Executive Committee for the Chamber was also announced, with Dr. Heather Jarvis taking over as president. Watertown city administrator Luke Fischer will be the vice president, Laramee Paradise is the treasurer, Jim May is the past president and Evonne Dennis is still the Executive Director.
Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson was the special guest at the meeting. He was invited to address Watertown business owners on the recent burglaries of Watertown businesses, most notably the grocery store and the Luce Line Lodge. However, he also ended up speaking at length about the Christian Oberender situation, a story that had broken the night before on the KARE 11 News.
Regarding the recent burglaries, Olson said a gang has been identified that is behind mainly safe and ATM thefts, and is operating statewide. He said an FBI task force has been created to address this particular gang.
In all, Olson said there were 15 burglaries in Watertown in 2012, twice the amount from 2011. Seven of those burglaries were in businesses or offices.
In other Chamber of Commerce News:
• Josh Guetzkow and Laramee Paradise, the Co-chairs of the Performing Arts Committee, which coordinates with the Watertown-Mayer Community Education to sponsor events at the Performing Arts Center, reported that G.L. Berg Entertainment would like to host three or four events per year at the PAC. That entertainment agency recently partnered with the school district to hold a series of events in the PAC.
• Heather Jarvis spoke of the need for the Chamber to organize a committee to address the future construction of the Territorial Street bridge — likely to occur in 2014 — and how it will affect Watertown’s downtown businesses.
• Jim May said he would like to reopen discussions about putting a message on the back of the Welcome to Watertown sign on Highway 6. The message would likely be something thanking visitors for visiting or shopping in Watertown as they head out of town.
Contact Matt Bunke at [email protected]