Chamber receives water board funding

Chamber receives water board funding
The Daleville Water and Sewer Board will once again provide funding to the Daleville Area Chamber of Commerce after months of discussion with the board, the city and the chamber.

During its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, the city's water board approved a request from Executive Director Kecia Ham for $15,000 to cover the cost of a salary for her position. Ham holds the position after the resignation of former Executive Director Nancy Garner.

The water board was first approached for funding from the former chamber administration during the board's May 15 meeting.

The chamber held a four-year contract with the water board that included a reduction in funding over the four years. The contract was not intended to be renewed, according to water board members.

During the May 15 meeting, Daleville City Council member and water board member Moore suggested the chamber approach the city about potential funding.

The city council tabled the request for funding during its June 5 meeting. No action was taken regarding the request during any meeting until July 17, where it ultimately denied the chamber's request.

During the Nov. 19 meeting, Ham provided a financial statement for the month of October, which included the final payment from the previous contract with the water board.

She said funding from the water board could help "take a lot of heat off the chamber" while it rebuilds financially over the next year.

"If you take out (the payment), we still, with fundraisers and everything, did remain in the black, but it will not be like that way every month," she said. "We do have fundraisers that we are planning for the future, but it would take a lot of heat off of the chamber while we are trying to rebuild if you all would be willing do that for at least another year."

She told the water board that the chamber believes it can be self-sufficient in a year.

"We honestly believe we could do it this year, but with all the events and things that we do, we kind of need a little bit of seed money to make these things happen," she said.

"I've seen a lot of progress," water board member Scott Moore said, stating that the board could also consider a shorter term for a contract or less money than was requested.

Ultimately, board member Josh Robertson made the motion to enter into a one-year contract with the chamber to provide $15,000 to cover the cost of the executive director's salary. Board member Patrick Sullen seconded the motion; Moore also voted in favor of the motion.

Board member Bob Slagle and board Chair Charles Tongret did not attend the meeting.

The next board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Water employees recognized for training

Water employees recognized for training
Three employees of the Daleville Water Department were recognized for completing operation and maintenance of water and wastewater pumps and panels training on Thursday, Sept. 27, with the Alabama Rural Water Association. Water Department Supervisor Orson Bullard said he wanted to "congratulate them and show that they are continuing in their education and training on water and sewer."

VFW Post 6020 honors veterans

VFW Post 6020 honors veterans
VFW Post 6020 in Daleville honored the nation's veterans on Monday, Nov. 12, during its Veterans Day Ceremony.

VFW Post Commander Ken Robillard shared the history of Veterans Day and the reason it is celebrated. He shared that Veterans Day was first recognized as Armistice Day to honor the armistice that ended World War I 100 years ago.

"In 1954, after World War II and Korea, it was renamed Veterans Day to honor all veterans who served in (the) war and defended democracy," he said. "So, today, we honor all our veterans who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom.

"Those men and women were ordinary people until they heard the call of duty and answered it. They left their families, their homes and their lives, not for recognition and fame or even the honor that we bestow upon them today. They fought to protect our country, to maintain our way of life."

Robillard said the "defense of freedom" is not just the cause of the American soldier. He said citizens could also protect their personal freedom through voting, "speaking out against injustices" or other actions like volunteering.

"Veterans Day isn't just a day for veterans," he said. "It's a day for all Americans. It is a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey to protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations."

Lt. Col. Chris Mariani, commander of the 1st of the 223rd Aviation Regiment, spoke about the changes in celebrations of veterans and the sacred bond that veterans, themselves, share.

"Today is a day of tribute and reflection, but also, and perhaps most importantly, of celebration," Mariani said. "Veterans Day is a celebration of all those who have served and continue to serve our nation with honor and distinction.

"It is their loyalty to our country and their great courage that have made us what we are today and what we have been for more than two centuries: the land of the free because of the brave, a beacon of hope in an increasingly complex world."

The celebration of veterans has changed throughout history, but the country has come back to embrace "America's heroes," according to Mariani.

"Today, thankfully, we recognize all the heroic self sacrifice of all our veterans from all our wars," he said. "As a nation, we now recognize that the circumstances for which we fought are not nearly as important as the selfless service and selfless sacrifice to our nation."

Quoting Coolidge on forgetting a nation's protectors, Mariani said the Wiregrass region, especially Daleville, would never forget its veterans and soldiers.

"Veterans are a part of a uniquely American collective," he said. "Whenever America or her interests have been threatened, men and women across this greatest nation have risen to their defense. Whenever our freedoms have come under assault, we've responded with strength and purpose and resolve.

"Each of our veterans, along with their families, have sacrificed to serve that sacred pact between warrior and society that all of us hold so dear," he said.

He said it takes a "full team" to provide military support during war times.

"Only veterans understand this team concept and the sacrifice it takes to serve this great nation in times of war and during peace," he said.

Mariani reminded attendees that there are also veterans that are coping with "lingering" wounds and are working to transition back to civilian life after comba

AUSA 'supports whole Army'

AUSA 'supports whole Army'
AUSA Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter President Col. (ret.) Mark Jones spoke about the importance of the organization and the chapter activities during the annual AUSA General Membership Luncheon held at the Daleville Cultural and Convention Center on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Jones first spoke about the AUSA annual meeting and exposition in Washington D.C. He said 33,000 people from 80 foreign countries attended the event.

During the national conference, he said the Fort Rucker-Wiregrass Chapter of AUSA received 11 streamer awards at the Third Region Breakfast.

"I will tell you that the three that mean the most to me (are) Superior Chapter, Merit Chapter and, the one that absolutely means the most to me, Community Partner Support," he said. "We would not have been able to do this, get ourselves in this little bitty corner of Alabama back on the map with national without your support. I want to thank you very, very much."

Jones also introduced the leadership of the local chapter. He recognized First Vice President Doug Wynn, Vice President of Fundraising Ingrid Strange, Executive Secretary Tanya Hatley, Treasurer Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Sam Macmaster, Vice President of NCO and Soldier Affairs Command Sgt. Maj. (ret.) Otis Smith, Vice President of Public Relations LeeAnn Capps, Vice President of Young Professionals Kurt Kline Jr. and Vice President of Membership Mike Schmitz.

"These are people who volunteer their time to take care of this association, Fort Rucker and our National Guard and reserve soldiers throughout the area," he said.

Jones said many people have heard of AUSA, but many do not know what the organization does.

"I got to thinking about it, and I said, 'We have got to figure out a better way to get the word out to our local communities,'" he said. "They do dearly love (Fort Rucker).

"In short, the Association of the United States Army is the only non-profit, educational, professional development association that supports America's whole Army."

He said the organization is "a voice" and provides "support for the soldier." He said other organizations are only able to support sections, or branches, of the Army, AUSA focuses on the Army as a whole.

"The chapter leadership fully understand that we must do a better job at getting the word out and staying connected to the communities with the Wiregrass that support Fort Rucker, the mission of the Aviation Center of Excellence, the tenant organizations assigned to Fort Rucker and our National Guard and Army reservists in the area," he said. "We are ready, at any time, to speak to your city councils, chambers of commerce, veterans organizations, civic organizations, church committees and any others who would like to know what we're doing for soldiers and families throughout the Wiregrass."

Jones also spoke about the growing national membership of the organization, which helps the Army at the congressional level.

"AUSA has 123 chapters in nine regions worldwide, supporting our members and their communities," he said. "Wherever you go, AUSA is there.

"In the last two years, AUSA membership has grown from just under 70,000 members to over 132,000 members."

He said an increase in membership gives the organization's national leadership the support to speak with congressional representatives on behalf of the Army.

He said AUSA works to inform Congress about the needs of the Army, especially to try to affect change in funding from the government that has been "erratic" and "unpredictable" in the past.&

Daleville Christmas Parade

Daleville Christmas Parade
The Theme for this year’s parade will be “Starry Nights”. We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to participate. We hope each and every one of you will take part in this event and join with us as we celebrate the city we call home and the reason for the season. Immediately following the parade please join us, as Daleville Mayor Jayme Stayton will flip the switch illuminating the city’s Christmas tree on the Daleville
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