2022 Year-End Report to the Membership

Thanks to your support and the efforts of our board, other volunteers and city and county leaders the Belton Alliance has had a good year and accomplished many of our goals.  We have exciting things on the horizon as we work together to promote economic growth, tourism and quality of life in the Belton area.  This will be our final report of the 2022 year.  Below are details of the many things that have been done in our community over the last half of the year based on our strategic priorities.  Please take a few minutes to read about the accomplishments we have made together.

Members, Committee and Board:

  • The Alliance currently has 85 members
  • The committee is planning a membership blitz to work toward 100% renewal rate for 2023, plus efforts to gain new members to take the membership over 100!
  • Dues will remain the same and are $75 for businesses, $50 for non-profits and churches and $25 to $100 for individuals
  • Plans will be implemented to add a dues payment option on our website
  • Thanks to Jan Bratcher and Kevin Craft who rotate off the board at the end of this year. Kevin served many years on the board, including 3 years as President and the past year as the Immediate Past President.  He was a key part of the completion of the Bubblegum Rail Trail.  Jan served 6 years on the board and was instrumental in the Alliance receiving a $250,000 grant from the Timken Foundation for the Bubblegum Rail Trail.  She chaired the Economic Development & Government Relations Committee this year.
  • Welcome new board members Eric Gilbert with Window Depot and Liz Brock with the United Way of Anderson County who have been elected to serve 3-year terms.
  • New 2023 officers are Dupre Keys (President), Tammy Roberts (Vice-President), Beth Cobb (Secretary) and Rex Maynard (Treasurer).
  • Other board members include Nathan Brown, Richard Dorn, Michael Gilreath, Gene Jameson, Joseph Brice, Michelle McCollum, Jon Neel, Mayor Eleanor Dorn (ex-officio) and Brandy Vaughn (ex-officio).
  • Dupre Keys will be appointing the 2023 committee chairs and committee members soon. If you are interested in serving on a committee contact Dupre at [email protected].

Economic Development & Government Relations

  • We have been approved as a 501-c-3 (instead of a 501-c-4) organization by the Internal Revenue Service, which will make the Alliance eligible for more grants.
  • A meeting is planned in early 2023 with city and county leaders to discuss additional ways we can work together.
  • The Alliance hopes to work with the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce to implement some of their programs in the Belton area.

Revitalization:

  • The final Community Clean Up Day was held earlier this month, the fourth of this year. Local volunteers worked with community organizations (such as the Girls Scouts) to pick up trash in key areas of the community. The group collected 127 bags of trash plus additional debris such as tires and other large items.
  • The Belton Beautification Committee continues their great work On The Square! The irrigation project was completed earlier this fall which will  help with the plantings.  The project was funded by designated contributions to the Alliance with additional support from the City.

Website & Social Media:

  • beltonalliance.com continues to be updated with upcoming community events and news. Efforts will be made to do this more consistently moving forward.
  • The Business of the Quarter continues and a picture and article are featured on the website.
  • Consistent social media posts promote community events and activities and communicates other local information to the community.

Branding & Events:

  • Flags promoting the “Belton…A Historic Heart with a New Beat!” theme were installed on half the lights on the Bubblegum Rail Trail. Plans are to add additional flags next year.
  • The Alliance partnered with the City of Belton to implement four Standpipe Sound events On The Square during the spring and summer months. Each event offered free entertainment and food trucks.  The last event was held September 13 and featured entertainment by Belton’s own David Jones and the Combo Kings and “South Carolina’s First Lady of Song,” Loretta Holloway.
  • The Alliance hosted a community meeting November 14 to present information about a potential trail from Anderson to Belton that would tie in with the Bubblegum Rail Trail and the East-West Connector in Anderson. The project is currently in the planning stages and a $250,000 grant has been received from Advance South Carolina (a Duke Energy funded non-profit) to implement a feasibility study to determine the options and possibilities.  The Alliance felt it was important for the community to be aware of the idea and the possibilities it presents.  Over 100 people attended the meeting.  The Alliance plans to be involved in providing additional information as it becomes available.

South Carolina Chili Cookoff Championships:

  • Led by chairman Gene Jameson the 2022 Chili Cookoffs provided $12,000 to five community non-profit organizations. Checks were presented at the August Standpipe Sounds event.
  • Plans are underway for the 2023 cookoffs which are scheduled for April 22-23.

Bubblegum Rail Trail:

  • Several contributions have been received designated to the trail and will fund trees and plantings to replace some that have died, and add new plantings to the north end of the trail.
  • Three additional benches have been received and will be installed on the trail. One of the new benches was funded by a designated contribution.  Individuals and organizations may make a $750 contribution to fund a bench in their name or someone’s honor or memory.

Comments are closed.