CAMP VERDE - At Wednesday's work session, the Camp Verde Town Council and the Camp Verde Chamber of Commerce agreed to continue dialogue regarding the Chamber's request for $12,000 in financial aide.
The Chamber has stated that it would use the funding to pay an employee for 1,000 hours of membership services.
After close to 90 minutes of discussions with Chamber Vice Chairman Kyle French, the Council asked the Chamber to provide a business plan that can be submitted to the Council within 30 days.
"Give us a snapshot of who you're going to be in the next two years," Mayor Charlie German requested of the Chamber.
Though the Chamber was hoping the Council would agree to the funding request, French made it clear that his goal is to provide services that strengthen both the business community and the Chamber
"Whatever course we can take, we want to get [the Chamber] out of this hole," French said. "This has never been about the $12,000. Money is money. What will change people's minds is the action behind the money. It's what we do with it that will change perceptions."
According to Vice Mayor Jackie Baker, the Town has done an "excellent job" of supporting the Chamber.
"[But] I have a lot of misgivings," Baker added. "We paid money [to the Chamber] for years and years. And there was no accountability. Staff-wise, money-wise, maybe $12,000 doesn't seem to be much. But these are tax dollars. We need something in return for this."
Despite concern from some members of the Council, others spoke of the Town's need for a strong Chamber.
"Most towns have a good rapport with their Chamber," Council member Brad Gordon said. "I think it's good to give them support because they offer a different point of view. The Chamber offers a perspective I think we should support. I think we should give them a chance."
Council member Carol German said she has concerns with the Chamber, "mostly because of a lack of information." But German also said she thinks the Chamber can be viable and benefit the community.