Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

City hears about Chamber of Commerce plans for the year

BESSEMER - The Bessemer City Council heard from Bessemer Chamber of Commerce president Kathy Whitburn about the chamber's plans for the year.

"We are very excited to keep supporting, and keep stepping up ... to introduce some new programs to the business community," Whitburn said.

The chamber's next event is a "Business After 5" on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Pit Stop Bar & Grill. Plans are for similar events every other month.

The chamber is also holding an Easter Extravaganza for area children and their families.

"This has been very popular for our younger community members, and we're very happy to be able to continue this family fun event," Whitburn said.

The event will include an egg hunt, lunch and age-appropriate movie in the city hall auditorium.

"We open this up to our entire community," she said. "It is not something that is restricted to only Bessemer children. We welcome anybody that would like to come."

Business lunch

Next month, the chamber starts its Business Box Lunch Series, which will be held every other month, opposite of the Business After 5 events.

"The point of it is to be able to have an opportunity for our businesses and community members to come and hear a topic that is relevant to a business," Whitburn said.

Chamber members or an expert in a particular industry will make a presentation and answer questions.

The events will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the city auditorium. The first one is planned for April 15, with the topic of "Where's the Money?"

Whitburn said she also hopes to get the school involved, including students interested in business.

School involvement

Whitburn said she's excited about the chamber teaming up with the school, and she has been talking to high school guidance counselor Lori Hendges about possibly implementing mock interviews with business owners.

"They can learn the importance of how to dress, how to speak and even how sit during an interview - all critical components for them to be viable interviewing candidates and able to get the next job," Whitburn said.

Whitburn also said they plan to start a "Mini Bessemer Business" which will be a portable, traveling kiosk.

The mini-business will have Bessemer products that the students will help choose. Students will also take inventory, decide what to sell, and collect and account for the profits.

Councilman Al Gaiss was happy the chamber is working to involve the students.

"I'm excited. I think this is absolutely phenomenal," said Gaiss. "Getting the kids involved in the box lunches. ... I think the students are going to really enjoy being a part of this and being looked at like they are of importance, not that we don't think they're of importance, but see what they want to to, what they come up with. I think it's a great idea."

Other business

The council also:

-awarded a gravel purchase bid to Snow Country Contracting, Inc., of Bessemer, at a price of $9.90 per cubic yard, with delivery to take place by March 6.

-approved a June 2015 budget amendment.

-discussed the possibility of purchasing a new street sweeper for the city. In a motion by Doug Olsen, supported by mayor Butch Semmerling, the council tabled the matter and advised the city manager to further investigate the possible health and safety concerns for city workers using the sweeper. Councilwoman Linda Nelson opposed the motion.

-gave it's support for state Proposal 1 for Safer Roads. Gaiss said, "It will help us as a city." There was no opposition.

-heard Whitburn's support of the Smithsonian "The Way We Worked" exhibit coming to the Gogebic Range in April.

"The Bessemer Chamber of Commerce is extremely proud to support and share in this exciting event with our neighbor, Ironwood," Whitburn said. "It is such an honor to know that they have been chosen as the only site in the U.P. to host this traveling exhibit."

Whitburn said this event is an opportunity to show Bessemer's history and take pride in Bessemer.

The next city council meeting is on March 16.