Parish chamber set up

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 16, 2010

VIDALIA — Finalizing plans for the new Concordia Parish Chamber of Commerce was the main topic of discussion at Concordia Economic and Industrial Development District’s Board of Commissioners meeting Wednesday.

The new chamber will officially take over on Jan. 1, dissolving the Vidalia and Ferriday chambers for one unified organization.

“We have been working hard to complete the new chamber of commerce,” Executive Director Heather Malone said. “The new board is going to have a lot on its hands.”

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Malone said that according to state bylaws, the new chamber needs an ex officio member from both the CPEIDD and Concordia Parish Tourism Board.

Vidalia Chamber of Commerce Director Jamie Burley nominated Malone to be the ex officio member from CPEIDD, and she accepted.

The ex officio tourism member is yet to be named.

Board member Sue Grayson said one of the items the new chamber needs to work on is interacting with businesses in the parish.

“A large number of businesses in the area are saying they aren’t getting anything out of the chamber,” she said. “One thing we could do is ask them when we visit what they want to see done at the chamber.”

Grayson said one thing she has heard many businesses asking for is more learning opportunities for their business.

“They want the chamber to have more workshops,” she said. “Businesses need these things, and they just don’t feel like they are asked their opinion enough.”

In other news:

4 The drainage committee for Concordia Parish is set to meet in early January, CPEIDD board member and parish police jury president Melvin Ferrington said.

Ferrington said the new committee was planning to have its first meeting this month, but due to the holidays could not get everyone together.

Ferrington said the committee is currently waiting on a member from Ridgecrest and a member from Clayton to complete the membership.

The members from both of these towns will be appointed based on recommendations from their local governments.

4 The board also passed a resolution in support of keeping the railway in Natchez.

“It is the closest rail we have in the area,” Malone said. “We know if we were to lose it, we would be hurt.”