Keep It Local
While some Chambers have Government Affairs, we believe the Chamber should drive the agenda rather than “follow” government so we’ve renamed it to Local Issues as many issues don’t involve government.
This committee is poised for “quick response” on issues as they arise, in order to bring our “practical business insight” solutions to the forefront. We demand sensible regulation, fair taxation, accountability and transparency. We are always at the table for you, as the united “Voice of Business.”
Helped prevent $67 million road assessments saving members from special road reconstruction assessments saving $4,000-$150,000 per business.
Stopped signage restrictions already drafted and presented before City Council. These restrictions would have affected “everyone” but realtors, retail, restaurants, consumer services and homeowners were affected especially hard.
Cedar Redesign & Re-Construction
Based upon the original plans by the County, Cedar would look completely different if not for the Chamber’s years of pressure in redesigning plans to preserve access for customers. The Chamber even started a “Save Downtown Apple Valley Coalition” of 35 united businesses. We later created a formal partnership with the City. Together, we succeeded in protecting access in the design.
We spent over 7 years insuring Cedar Avenue Business Access in the planning stages, two years of construction and
post construction access of the new BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) corridor that has added lanes, infrastructure, lights etc. The Chamber for a decade has been the only non-government voice on the Cedar Board comprised of City, County, State leaders and Regional Transit officials.
Open Up EDA City Council Meetings
Led the EDA (Economic Development Agency) which is comprised of City Council and one other appointed person, into televising their meetings. Especially with TIF (Tax Increment Financing) of public tax dollars for development, the Chamber felt these meetings should be more in the open. Anytime a vote is needed, the vote will occur at City Council meetings and therefore be available on online video.
Governor & US Senator Job Roundtables
Job Roundtables were hosted by Apple Valley Chamber during the recession with Governor Pawlenty twice joining us, US Senator twice, Speaker of the House three times, President of the Senate the head of Dept. of Employment & Economic Development (DEED) with the last two Commissioners. We have been unable to secure Governor Dayton but have hosted nearly all of his Commissioners from the various Departments of State Government.
Changed Paving Schedule From Saturdays
Prevented Cedar Closing on a Saturday for paving, saving businesses thousands of lost sales on a top commercial day. Once the County scheduled the Saturday paving, the City Public Works partnered immediately upon our request to work the process to a Sunday.
McDonald’s & Other Drive Up lanes
Working to allow variance for McDonald’s to add second menu board for double turn lanes. We will revisit getting second menu boards for Culver’s and others for the convenience of customers.
“Realistic Speed Limits” on New Downtown Entry Roads
Requested a MNDOT study to increase speed limits to realistic levels for thru traffic on the newly opened roads at 147th and Foliage behind Menard’s so that customers are not ticketed as often. We are not asking that limits be changed on other roads than the new.
MET Council Imposed Water Fees
Water Issues were recently brought to our attention. MET Council places start up costs to small businesses that often seem unreasonable. A small pet grooming store under construction was to pay $14,500 and a new small deli asked to pay $22,000 just to turn on their water. The formula assumes the water will run 24/7. We want this reviewed to be realistic to actual use and to make appeals easier.
Cedar Zipper Lanes
Zipper lanes are being contemplated for making cross-over lanes on Cedar north of 35E. It will mean 3 miles of “borrowing a lane” from the opposite side of the road during rush hours. It would require a massive truck picking up 6-miles of concrete “jersey barriers each day (3-miles on each side of Cedar). Chamber President Ed Kearney rode one across southern Boston last summer and has many concerns, especially in this winter and icy climate.
Most Issues Often Quietly Solved
There are many issues almost weekly the Chamber handles for businesses. Most issues are brought directly to the City, County or State government with jurisdiction. Examples include signage issues, road tonnage, construction schedules, zoning variances, etc. Most issues are resolved quietly and often graciously by the respective governments who often don’t realize hardships until we bring them to their attention. The City of Apple Valley has been especially receptive to listening and responding to business concerns. Our Board notices and recognizes and appreciates this partnership in solving issues that affect jobs and development.