PAYNE – Following the election of new officers in January, and the anticipation of having another great year, most everyone’s attention was diverted to dealing with the harsh winter weather. However, with spring’s arrival last week, we’re not only anticipating an increase in temperatures, but an increase in activity within the Payne Chamber of Commerce and the community.
The new Antwerp Exchange Bank’s Payne Banking Center construction is in full force – vault is in, walls are up, roof is on.
Denning’s Drive-In has opened; Meno’s House of Pancakes has reopened with a brand new menu under the new name of Sam’s Café; and the Puckerbrush Pizzeria and Good Times Saloon continue to provide daily lunch and dinner specials.
Easter and the Charity Basketball Marathon are just a few weeks away and the opening ceremonies for this 36th annual event will begin on Good Friday, April 18. In addition, events planned by the chamber for the year include the Payne Relief 5-K on July 26 and something new – an independent consultant open house. Stay up to date on plans for these events by following the chamber’s Facebook page.
To date, the Payne Chamber has 110 members and appreciate each and everyone of those members for their continued support. Most of these members have had a direct impact on the transformation of the downtown during the past few years.
When the construction of AEB’s Payne Banking Center is complete, the Village of Payne’s administrative offices and police department will move to the building currently occupied by the bank leaving, their former building vacant and available for purchase.
Anyone interested in this building is encouraged to contact chamber president Chad Benschneider for more information and/or a tour. He may be reached at 419-263-2277 or 419-769-4708.
In similar news, residents may recall that the chamber purchased and then demolished the former Billy-Jo’s (green awning) building early last summer. Until such time as this vacant lot is utilized for further economic development purposes, the chamber has considered several ideas on how the lot can be used . The most interesting idea that they are pursuing right now is that of allowing the lot to be used as a community garden – one that could be used for or by community members, or for 4-H projects, or for FFA projects, or for the enjoyment of, or by a garden club.
Items grown could possibly be used as local restaurant fare, or food for the local food pantries. While the lot is not huge, chamber leaders feel that a garden could be a very valuable asset to the look and feel of the downtown landscape.
Interested parties are encouraged to contact the chamber for guidance and expertise in making this happen in our community.
For up-to-date information on the upcoming Payne Relief 5-K, independent consultant open house, available commercial space and the potential community garden, message them through Facebook, email at email@example.com, or phone Benschneider at 419-769-4708 or 419-263-2277 or chamber secretary Ashley Doctor at 419-406-0911.