NORTH WEBSTER — North Webster-Tippecanoe Township Chamber of Commerce members and guests were presented with a program, “The Value of Our Lakes,” by Seth Bingham at the general monthly meeting. It was held noon Monday, June 13, at the North Webster American Legion Post 253.
Under the director of Center for Lakes & Stream’s Dr. Nate Bosch, Bingham compiled a mass of information about what the lakes driven economy adds to the economic picture in Kosciusko County. The number is $313 million annually. Bingham noted, “Due to the manner of obtaining the information, I feel this is a conservative estimate.”
He is both a undergraduate and graduate student at Grace College. He will graduate next year with an undergraduate degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in business.
Lake specific businesses such as boat sales and manufacturing, marinas, boat repair, bait and tackle, recreation equipment and pier installation businesses accounted for $150,722,000 of the total while lake related businesses added $147,661,000. Lake related businesses include home care, lodging, professional services, health and medical care, entertainment, real estate, youth services and specialty businesses.
Bingham added, “Understanding the value of our lakes is only the first step. Keeping the lakes clean and healthy is integral to maintaining the value of our lakes in the future.”
The potential of economic impact on the area in the future concerns improvement or decline of lake water quality. Bingham commented, “While area lakes’ quality is doing well, improvement would increase the economic value of our lakes by 5 percent or an addition $10,519,000 each year. Decline in water quality could lead to a devastating loss annually of up to 40 percent or 84,153,000.”
“With the unfortunate example of Grand Lake St. Mary’s in Ohio as an example, we don’t want decline to happen,” he said. When asked about how to improve area lakes, the audience was directed to the website lakes.grace.edu, the website for Grace College Center for Lakes & Streams.
During the business portion of the meeting, Treasurer Stacey Cox, Pletcher Insurance, congratulated Pro Wake Watersports on being the June Business of the Month. She announced the chamber office is in the process of moving from one location inside the Tippecanoe Township Building to another. “The office entrance will now face West Washington Street and have a lighted sign. There will be more storage, which is important too,” she commented.
Dixie Day will be Saturday, July 30. A committee meeting was held last week and progress continues. Vendors for the art fair and food are needed. Applications and information are available online at www.northwebster.com.
North Webster Community Guides continue to be distributed. This is a guide for visitors and residents with helpful information about the area and it is free. Board member Susan Stump, The Papers Inc., will work with others to keep them going out to the public. They are already available at NewMarket, North Webster Ace Hardware, Dixie boat and at other businesses.
It was announced by Cox the chamber’s shoe drive has ended with the final check of $1,572.40 being received. “Thanks to everyone who participated in this fundraiser in any way,” she added.
The next general meeting will be noon Monday, July 11, North Webster American Legion Post 253, 756 S. SR 13.