With a unanimous vote, the Ely City Council agreed to once again become a member of the White Pine Chamber of Commerce in their bi-weekly meeting on July 23. Councilwoman Pat Robison introduced the agenda item by saying that she couldn’t go anywhere in town without people mentioning to her that they felt the council should never have ended their relationship with the Chamber.
“We made a mistake, and I think we need to make it right,” Robison said in the meeting.
The agenda item split the council in discussion, with Councilman Bruce Setterstrom presenting an argument for why the city left in the first place, which centered around the Chambers three-year-old Chamber Bucks program. Setterstrom claimed that he had heard Barrick Gold Mine had purchased $100,000 dollars worth of Chamber Bucks, which concerned him since less than 30 local businesses accept the alternate currency, a far cry from the over 700 local businesses licensed by the city.
The Chamber of Commerce’s Director Wayne Cameron spoke in rebuttal before the vote, saying that the actual amount purchased by Barrick was less than $5,000. Setterstrom said that knowing that, he wasn’t as opposed to the City becoming a member again.
While most of the public in attendance at the meeting left after the chamber vote, the city also took another important step towards resolving the ongoing issues between the railroad board of trustees and the railroad’s management board. The council, acting as the board of trustees, voted to accept the terms of the lawsuit settlement originally put forth by the management board. The management board also voted to accept the terms in their own board meeting on July 28, meaning the settlement will be sent to Justice Robert Rose for his signature, which will make the terms final.