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Cleburne chamber offers development help to Ranburne

Ranburne council

Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Sanders, at right, and chamber executive director Chad Robertson, next from right, tell Ranburne Town Council members about the chamber at a Monday night meeting.

RANBURNE — The Ranburne Town Council heard from the Cleburne County Chamber of Commerce on Monday night about ways the chamber can help Ranburne.

Both Sandy Sanders, president of the chamber, and Chad Robertson, its executive director, told the council about the various events, programs and upcoming events the chamber offers.

Robertson said the chamber wants to network and recruit members in the county at large and wants to dispel the perception that the chamber is all about Heflin.

“We acknowledge that the chamber has had problems connecting with the outer limits of the county,” Robertson said.

Robertson asked the council for its support, even if it was not monetary, as the chamber needs volunteers to help facilitate connections and networks. 

“We would love to help y’all any ways we can,” said Robertson.

Sanders said one of the newest chamber board members is Pamela Thompson, Ranburne’s city clerk and magistrate.

“We struggle getting people on board” from outside Heflin, said Sanders, and that’s why people think we are a Heflin chamber.” 

The chamber’s two biggest events are the Cleburne County Fair and the rodeo, but it hosts other events including Lunch and Learn, political forums and marketing assistance, according to Sanders.

Trevor Kribbs, Ranburne Town Council member, asked Sanders and Robertson if they could somehow help Ranburne get a restaurant. The only place food is available is at a gas station in downtown Ranburne.

“I understand there’s not going to be a McDonald’s and a Jack’s ... what will the chamber do as an outreach service to help draw in that one particular business,” asked Kribbs.

“If you can eat it, we want it,” said Kribbs.

Kribbs said a good fit for Ranburne would be a “mom and pop” type restaurant offering “meat and three” type food which could also serve as a place where businesses could network.

“We need outside help,” said Kribbs.

Robertson said the chamber will assist where it can and will work closely with Tanya Maloney, Heflin’s economic developer, who was instrumental in bringing in Tree Brand Packaging to Ranburne.

Sanders invited the council to attend the upcoming annual chamber dinner on Feb. 7 at Curvin’s Country Acres. 

In other business, Thompson told the council that Amanda Adams, Ranburne’s senior center director, will be stepping down in February and that a replacement is needed, along with a driver for the senior center’s Meals on Wheels program.

Thompson said she will run an advertisement in the newspaper and distribute fliers to get the word out about the vacancies. Two resumes had already been turned in that the council mulled over during the meeting. 

According to Thompson, the town’s Facebook page can’t be accessed to run the job notifications because the password is unknown having been set up during a prior administration. A visit to the Ranburne Facebook page indicates that the page is officially closed; its latest posts were made five years ago. 

​Staff writer Bill Wilson: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @bwilson_star.