APRIL 29, 2010

Heather Burnham, Orofino Chamber Director, Robert Simmons of the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce, Stephanie Deyo of the Orofino Chamber of Commerce, and Harv Nelson of the Pierce-Weippe Chamber of Commerce (l to r).

Three chambers convene

   Robert Simmons of the Kamiah Chamber of Commerce and Harv and Colleen Nelson of the Pierce/Weippe Chamber were the guests and keynote speakers addressing the luncheon held April 21.

   Both guests emphasized the need to work together to strengthen the communities involved. The representatives agreed that the use of enhanced technologies such as websites, interfacing with Twitter and Facebook, as well as promotional materials such as radio spots, printed flyers and magnets are excellent tools to promote businesses and entice travelers to visit and stay in these communities.

   They stressed the benefit to all concerned if the four communities of Orofino, Weippe, Pierce, and Kamiah promote each other’s functions. What benefits one community, benefits all. Tourists passing through the area, either along Hwy. 12, or into the back country, must access these towns enroute. Hopefully, by learning more of what the area has to offer, visitors will utilize the local businesses more.

   Robert Simmons, of Kamiah, stated that the most proactive step their community has done, promotion wise, was to hire a full time grant writer. The cost is shared among groups and businesses in Kamiah.

   Visit Pierce-Weippe Chamber’s website at and for Kamiah’s. Recommend these sites to others. Interlinking businesses with these websites will also drive internet traffic to the various websites.

   There was a discussion concerning the heavy equipment which is scheduled to pass along Hwy. 12, between the Port of Lewiston and on into Montana. The project, known as the Kearl Oil Project (in conjunction with Imperial Oil and Exxon Mobil Corp.) is anticipated to be spread over a one year time period with the cooperation of the Idaho Department of Transportation.

   Approximately 123 truck and trailers, 24’ wide, 170’ long and 53 truck/trailers 12’-24’ long and 31 truck/trailers at a lesser length, for a total of 207, will be hauling the equipment to supply an $8 billion dollar open pit bitumen mine near Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. The loads are scheduled to move mostly during night time hours, but Simmons stated that as the convoys approach the borders between Idaho and Montana, it would be between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

   Theoretically, there are expected to be wait times of approximately 15 minutes delaying traffic. The concern was that these kinds of traffic delays in the summer months might inhibit businesses in the communities along the route. Simmons said, working together, city officials might be able to influence the schedules of when the equipment moves are made.

Free life jackets

   The Corps of Engineers with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation, the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Department, the Orofino Humane Society, and many more sponsors will be hosting a Boating & Water Safety Fair, Saturday, May 22, at Big Eddy Marina. There will be a free kids’ life jacket exchange, boat safety inspections, great food, equipment on display, and a water craft simulator game.

Business After Hours

   The next Business After Hours get-together will be held at Brookside Landing, Thursday, May 13, between 5 and 7 p.m.

Next meeting

   Representatives of Back Country Medics will visit at the next regular meeting scheduled for May 5, at 12 noon, at the Ponderosa Restaurant.