Sarah Russell, who grew up in Mason, is the new executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce. Russell has degrees in entrepreneurship and small-business management and a certificate in counseling. A reception for outgoing director Doug Klein will be held Nov. 7.
The Mason 150 Sesquicentennial Anniversary Committee only has $40 in the treasury to spend on its 150 anniversary activities. Fundraising during the rest of 2014 is essential to have events and merchandise in 2015. When the committee was formed in fall 2012, people were assigned tasks, such as managing the Mason 150 Tree Legacy Project, organizing the Mason 150 Club or creating a souvenir journal. Mason Councilmember Marlon Brown, chairperson of the committee, sent out a press release encouraging people to donate or become involved in these projects. The Mason 150 Club is a fundraiser sponsored by the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce.
A grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is helping to gather input from citizens in Mason and Lansing about adding additional CATA bus service between both cities. Route 46, the bus route between Mason and Lansing, runs one northbound trip daily at 7:05 a.m. from downtown Mason, and one southbound trip at 5 p.m. from the CATA transportation center in downtown Lansing. Doug Klein, executive director of the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, said the proposed change would add one more bus in the morning and evening, possibly an hour later than both times, alleviating problems of many people working a 9 to 5 job. The Mason Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Mason and the Mid-Michigan Program for Greater Sustainability are some of the organizations looking to determine if adding routes would benefit both CATA and citizens who live or work in Mason. Julie Powers, executive director of the Mid-Michigan Environmental Action Council, says the grant of about $5,000 is being used to assess the need of more public transportation, as well as enable community members to get involved in the transportation planning process.