The Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce discussed several topics during a virtual meeting held Monday afternoon, Feb. 8. Chamber President Kurtis Strickland reported a big community project that is nearing completion is the Proud Oak Project.

The Proud Oak Project involves placing new welcome signs at five entry points to the village. At the project's helm is Kelly Ramey, who initiated the project after noticing that the existing welcome signs had deteriorated. Strickland stated she did a great job from the start and that the project is in the home stretch. The signs were financed by a community fundraising project which generated enough money to cover the expenses. The Oak Hill Chamber of Commerce was supportive of the project.

“Both signs are completed on State Route 93 north and south,” Strickland stated. “Solar lights have been installed on both of those and we should see some landscaping for both of those pretty soon. Nick Kelly from Kelly Landscaping is donating the work around both of those new signs on State Route 93.  Kelly and Nick are coming up with the exact plan of what the landscaping will be.” The landscaping plan calls for plants around the sign but none that will grow over and obscure the signs. 

Strickland added that the other welcome signs on State Routes 279 and 233 would all be up soon and the donor recognition sign is already finished and in place in Central Memorial Park. There will also be some items placed on the concrete pad near the donor sign to spruce up the park’s appearance.

There was also good news from the Oak Hill Union Local Schools' Superintendent Dr. Marci Shepard, who addressed the COVID-19 situation as well as key upcoming events at the schools.

“The first thing I'll share about is vaccines,” said Dr. Shepard. “We are able to offer, like the other school districts in our county, the vaccines to our staff. When we say the staff, that means teachers, custodians, bus drivers, food service, administrators, any coaches and our most active substitutes. Currently, we have zero staff cases and zero student cases.”

The Superintendent is also hopeful of a more normal spring although it may be a little different.

"I know we're in the midst of winter, but spring is just a few months away," she stated. Planning for graduation activities in alignment with health and safety guidelines is taking place, she added.

"We also support kids and want to honor them -- especially with prom, Baccalaureate, and graduation,” Dr. Shepard added. "It will look different this year, of course, but we want to say yes to kids. We just want to be able to do things in safe ways.”

In other news from the meeting, Chamber members heard an update from Total Media General Manager Amanda Crabtree about Total Media’s new radio app and the fact that Karena Fulks has joined the Total Media Staff and will be a point person for the Oak Hill Chamber meetings.

The next meeting of the Oak Hill Area Chamber of Commerce is set for Monday, March 8 at noon. Right now, unless an announcement is made otherwise, the meeting will be held virtually for the third straight month.