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Livingston County Farm Bureau Hosts Legislative Breakfast

Cat and Danielle of the Chamber of Commerce recently attended the Livingston County Farm Bureau Legislator Breakfast held at the Pontiac Elk’s. Among many Farm Bureau members, in attendance were Senator Jason Barickman, Representative Tom Bennett, Congressman Adam Kinzinger’s assistant, Patrick Doggett and County Board Chair Kathy Arbogast. Matt Kilgus of the Livingston County Farm Bureau was our gracious host. The audience was updated on all levels of government.
Arbogast told us that the second proposal for the new Public Health Department is at a lesser dollar amount and has been approved by the Property Committee already. County Board also has stated that any cannabis facility will need to be 1500 feet away from schools, churches, etc… There is a property tax increase vote on the ballot asking citizens of the county if they support the tax for the Livingston County Health Care plan. Kathy also reported that the county has already seen $355, 000 in funds from the state gas tax increase. County has approved monies for bridge, culvert and road repairs.
Adam Kinzinger’s assistant, Patrick Doggett gave a brief summary of the issues Kinzinger has been addressing in Washington including the Coronavirus legislation that passed 415-2 and was approved by the President, freeing up emergency spending of $8 billion dollars in funds to go to the CDC and other organizations to help combat the virus spread. When asked about the need for infrastructure funding, Doggett stated that at this time there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hope for a deal in the near future.
Representative Tom Bennett addressed the crowd updating us on bills he has proposed and committees he is currently serving. He reported that attendance soared by 37% at the 2019 State Fairs at both Springfield and Quoin brining in $5.7 million dollars to the State of Illinois. This in turn allowed the state to approve keeping the fairs open this year. Tom discussed bills he has worked on and proposed like a perjury bill, the FOID Card process and the mandatory HPV vaccine. He talked about the importance of taking the 2020 Census and the frightening fact that around50,000 Illinoisans left the state last year and sadly, the state has no answers for it.
Senator Jason Barickman reported that Governor Pritzker proposed to consolidate some pension systems for savings, but more needs to be done. The Senator said he is strongly opposed to the graduated tax increase saying if it is voted down then real spending reform will be put on the table for real discussion. It was noted that there are three names by which this tax increase is referred: the Graduated Tax, the Fair Tax and the Progressive Tax. Barickman agreed with Bennett that nothing is being done about the large number of residents leaving the state saying that there is a lack of recognition by the Democrats that it is already happening. When discussing the FOID Card system being broken, Barickman said he doesn’t see the card going away, if anything there will be more restrictions and higher fees added. On the brightside of politics, though it has been tough to come to agreements on big issues, he is seeing bi-partisan solutions. He and a Democrat have proposed a tax credit together for volunteer firemen that will help aid recruiting.
The morning ended with a Q&A from the audience to the panel which led the way for many great discussions.

Brenda Thompson Named Volunteer of the Year

The Pontiac Chamber of Commerce named Brenda Thompson the 2020 Volunteer of the Year and boy does she deserve it! Brenda has a big heart for giving of her time and her talents. She is listed to be in so many things we could fill this page; so, I will name a few, she has volunteered at Mosaic for nearly 7 years, reading to the clients and helping where she can. Brenda also spends time logging items donated to the historical society, raising money for her team with Relay for Life and supporting ministries at the First United Methodist Church. In what little down time she has she enjoys crocheting and spending time with her grandchildren. Congratulations Brenda! Brenda will be presented with her award Tuesday, March 31st at our Annual Meeting Banquet at the Pontiac Elk’s. You can make your reservations by calling 815-844-5131 or emailing director@pontiacchamber.org

Dale Larkin Named Bill Edwards Agri-Businessperson

We recently honored Dale Larkin of Stoller International as the 2020 Pontiac Chamber of Commerce Bill Edwards Agri-Businessperson of the year! Dale has grown up in Livingston County and loved the community so much he returned after college. He has been a loyal employee to Stollers and friend to the Ag community for many years. Lynn Stoller said “people come to see Dale not Stoller,” Lynn went on to say how Dale has gone above and beyond for his customers even coming in on Sundays if needed. He volunteers for Pontiac FFA events and Livingston County 4-H. Dale doesn’t stop there; he stays busy farming, enjoying time with his wife, Jenny and two kids Jake and Libby. Congratulations Dale! Dale will be presented with his award Tuesday, March 31st at our Annual Meeting Banquet at the Pontiac Elk’s. You can make your reservations by calling 815-844-5131 or emailing director@pontiacchamber.org

Pontiac Chamber and the Coronavirus

I want to share our thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep you informed of the Chamber’s current state of operations.

The Chamber has been monitoring the developments of the Coronavirus and staying on top of the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) along with state and local officials to understand the developments and follow necessary guidelines established to help prevent the spread of the virus. I have registered with the CDC to receive updates as they occur.

At this time, the Pontiac Area Chamber remains fully operational and ready to service our members. However due to an overabundance of caution and the safety of our business community and our PTHS students; Betsy Westergreen and I have agreed to postpone the Instagram Workshop.

We are continuing to plan for the Annual Meeting Banquet scheduled for March 31st at the Elk’s. We will monitor the ongoing situation and make a decision as early as possible and notify our members of any status changes when necessary. We recognize these are uncertain times for everyone and we remain committed to supporting our valued members.

The CDC has most recently made this statement which we are following: “Decisions about the implementation of community measures will be made by local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials as appropriate, and based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. Implementation will require community engagement, with ongoing and transparent public health communications.”

Thank you all for your support of the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce.

Cat Coppinger-Executive Director

Pontiac Chamber and the Coronavirus

I want to share our thoughts on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and keep you informed of the Chamber’s current state of operations.

The Chamber has been monitoring the developments of the Coronavirus and staying on top of the latest reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) along with state and local officials to understand the developments and follow necessary guidelines established to help prevent the spread of the virus. I have registered with the CDC to receive updates as they occur.

At this time, the Pontiac Area Chamber remains fully operational and ready to service our members. However due to an overabundance of caution and the safety of our business community and our PTHS students; Betsy Westergreen and I have agreed to postpone the Instagram Workshop.

We are continuing to plan for the Annual Meeting Banquet scheduled for March 31st at the Elk’s. We will monitor the ongoing situation and make a decision as early as possible and notify our members of any status changes when necessary. We recognize these are uncertain times for everyone and we remain committed to supporting our valued members.

The CDC has most recently made this statement which we are following: “Decisions about the implementation of community measures will be made by local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials as appropriate, and based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. Implementation will require community engagement, with ongoing and transparent public health communications.”

Thank you all for your support of the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce.

Cat Coppinger-Executive Director

Press Release from Livingston County Clerk’s Office

Kristy A. Masching
Livingston County Clerk & Recorder
112 W. Madison Street
Pontiac, IL 61764-1871
Ph. (815) 844-2006
Fax: (815) 842-1844

March 12, 2020

PRESS RELEASE

Polling Place Re-Location: Pontiac Precinct #1

The polling site at Evenglow Lodge for voters in Pontiac Precinct #1 is being relocated from the Evenglow Lodge to the Pontiac United Methodist Church (Asbury Room located in the basement), 219 N Chicago Street for the Tuesday, March 17, 2020 General Primary Election.
Questions, call 815-844-2006

L:/KristyM/Election/N:/Kristy M/Election/Electn Eqpmnt Schdls-Tech Info-Poll Site Cntcts/Polling Site Relocation-Evenglow Lodge P#1

Issues & Eggs with the SBA

Thank you to Lolitha McKinney and Amy Lambert from the Small Business Association for presenting to us at our March Issue and Eggs at Edinger’s Filling Station.  We were all surprised to learn that the SBA will meet with you at no cost, confidentially and one on one to help you with your business plan, mentoring and counseling, marketing and even lending. Whether you have already started your business, you’re hoping to start a business, planning an expansion or even need help getting back on your feet after a disaster; the SBA is there. If you would like that individualized help you can call Amy at 844-369-8898 or alliancesbdc.org to request an appointment. Thanks to Edinger’s for great service and another wonderful breakfast. Notice how I am teasing you with Mary’s rolls?

Our next Issues & Eggs is scheduled for May 19th and will be our annual State of the City. If you would like to know more about our event; you can call Cat or Danielle at 815-844-5131.

Cat Goes to Springfield

Cat made her first trip to the State Capital in Springfield, recently, and was able to represent the Chamber by way of a non-profit, bi-partisan group called ReadyNation. Their focus is on leveraging the experience, influence, and expertise of Chambers and business executives to help build a skilled workforce by promoting solutions that prepare our children to succeed in education, work and life. She appeared before the Education Appropriations Committee; a committee that  our very own, ranking Republican member, State Representative, Tom Bennett serves. The topic was on Early Childhood Education. Cat enjoyed her experience and seeing Rep. Bennett in action.

DHS Gives I-9 Form Workshop

Did you know that all employees must have an I-9 completed and on file within three days of being hired? Did you also know that if this is not done, it is incorrectly filled out or if supporting documents are fraudulent; you as the employer can be fined?

Ben Bauman, Special Agent ICE-DHS came to the Pontiac Chamber to talk to us about the Department of Homeland Security and the I-9. The Homeland Security Act was enacted in 2003 after the tragic events that occurred on 9/11.

Ben went over the proper way to fill out the I-9 both on the employee’s side and that of the employer. He explained there is a free certification online that he recommends all HR departments take to cover your business from I-9 casualties. Visit ice.gov/image to sign up for the free certification and to learn more.

“Fargo” Turns Back Time in Downtown Pontiac

Downtown Pontiac was transformed to the 1950’s when the FX TV series “Fargo” was being filmed this week. Season 4 takes place in Kansas City, Missouri and is scheduled to premiere April 19, 2020.

(Photo credits go to Carolyn Ledford of The General Store and Cat Coppinger of the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce)