CABA hopes to get all aboard for ‘Next Stop: Chatham’

CHATHAM – The Village Board reviewed a new branding and logo concept for the village and surrounding area last week. The approach was developed by CABA (Chatham Area Business and Arts).

CABA President Tom Chulak said that he was showing the board the new designs for signs, shopping bags and brochures to get the board’s input rather than approval. The CABA board will be asked to approve the designs at that board’s meeting in November.

“For the last year and a half, CABA has been rebranding its self,” Mr. Chulak told the Village Board at the October 13 meeting. Until recently called the Chatham Area Business Alliance, the member run group of businesses and individuals hosts events in the village and runs the website www.visitchathamny.com with a directory of members. The CABA board decided to broaden the group’s reach so they met with boards and organizations in the greater Chatham area, defined primarily by the boundaries of the Chatham Central School District.

The new branding does focus mainly on Village of Chatham. “Chatham is the draw,” said designer Rich Kraham, publisher of the Chatham Press, who worked with CABA on the new design. The new tag line CABA is suggesting is “Next Stop: Chatham,” which was originally the idea of county Chamber of Commerce Membership Director Carol Patterson, who is a CABA board member. Mr. Kraham and Ms. Patterson, along with Judy Grunberg who also worked on the design, joined Mr. Chulak at the meeting to present the brand to the Village Board.

They proposed signs for the light posts in the village, a new brochure that would give general information to visitors, shopping bags with the slogan and a logo that “references railroad semaphores and old highway directional.” Mr. Kraham also talked having about local television commercials using footage of Main Street in the village recorded over the summer by a camera on a drone.

“I think ‘Next Stop: Chatham’ is a call to action,” Mr. Kraham told the board.

“Everyone who hears it says, ‘Ah, that’s it,’” said Ms. Grunberg.

Village Board member Gunnar Wordon said that he could imagine turning the logo into a larger campaign.

“All we need is money,” said Mr. Kraham.

Mr. Chulak said that once the CABA board approves the logo they will start looking into a campaign. “Then the question is where does the money come from,” he said to the board. Later he added, “It’s not going to be cheap.” Mr. Chulak, co-owner of the Chatham Bookstore, said CABA’s marketing committee would start discussing how to get the new logo out to the public once it’s finalized. He also told the board that CABA would be meeting this month to start planning for the group’s next event, Winterfest.

He also talked about the crowds that came to CABA’s October Feast event earlier this month. Mr. Kraham said the October event showed that the village is a destination.

Village Police Chief Peter Volkmann said there were no major issues with the crowds at the October Feast.

In a related matters, the Village Board approved suspending the two-hour limit on Main Street parking during the Chatham Film Club’s annual film festival, called FilmColumbia. The two-hour limit will be lifted from October 24 through October 30.

“We’re trying to be visitor friendly,” Chief Volkmann said.

The board also approved closing Kinderhook Street to car traffic on Halloween night from 5 to 9:30 p.m. for the safety of trick-or-treaters.

Also at the meeting:

• The board accepted the resignation of police officer Mark Leggett, who served as interim police chief before the board hired Mr. Volkmann. Trustee Jay Rippel said the board accepted the resignation with thanks for his 40-year career in the village

• The board accepted the resignations of Court Clerk Joanne Dixon and Deputy Court Clerk Kelly Baccaro effective December 31. The board will need to appoint a new clerk in January

• The board approved Local Law #2, a major subdivision and commercial building moratorium for six months. Mayor Curran said that in new law will become void as soon as board approves updated zoning laws which are being drafted now by a special committee. He also said that no one came to the public hearing held before the regular meeting on Thursday. The new law extends a moratorium already in place

• Chief Volkmann reported on the Chatham Cares 4U program, which authorizes the Village Police Department to place people with drug addictions in treatment programs. He said he is working with officials to find funding resources.

He also reported that he is changing the ranks used by the department so that corporals can become sergeants and accrue hours toward a two-year requirement needed to become eligible to serve as a police chief. The department’s one current sergeant will become a lieutenant.

The next board meeting will be Thursday, November 10 at 7 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial Village Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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