Partnership votes to join BMT Chamber of Commerce

First Posted: 2/26/2012

The Back Mountain Community Partnership voted to join the Back Mountain Chamber of Commerce at a meeting Feb. 16.

Lynn Banta, co-founder of the chamber, presented information to the partnership about the organization and its inclusion of governmental bodies, nonprofit agencies and educational facilities.

“The plan for the chamber is that there wouldn’t just be commerce,” said Banta. “There is a synergism between the community and also the cultural resources in the Back Mountain.”

Banta read a letter from the chamber’s board of directors, which explained the two groups’ similar missions in keeping intact the “growth, prosperity and safety” of the Back Mountain.

The group unanimously voted to join the chamber. The partnership consists of Dallas Borough and Dallas, Franklin, Jackson, Kingston and Lehman townships. Representatives from Jackson and Lehman townships were not present at the meeting.

Lehman Township is also part of the chamber as an individual municipality.

Chairman James Reino Jr., of Kingston Township, said being part of the organization allows for increased communication between businesses and the municipalities in which they’re located.

“In most cases, communities don’t hear from businesses unless they are applying for something or are expanding, and then there is no input until it’s too late,” said Reino, who will serve as the group’s representative for the chamber. “I think this is the first chamber like this I’ve heard of in the state.”

In other news, the group discussed earned income tax collection within individual municipalities.

• Mike Prokopchak, of Franklin Township, said there have been instances in which residents’ addresses don’t reflect where they actually live, and this could result in the wrong municipality collecting earned income taxes.

“For example, I live in Franklin Township, but my address says … Dallas,” he said.

He said that sort of confusion hurts smaller municipalities like Franklin Township, which has an annual budget of about $300,000.

The group agreed to ask a representative from the Don Wilkinson Agency to discuss this and other issues at its next meeting.

• The next Back Mountain Community Partnership meeting will be held at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 15 in Insalaco Hall at Misericordia University, 301 Lake St., Dallas Township.

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