Ridgeland officials issued their annual payment to the Ridgeland Chamber of Commerce following reported air conditioner issues at their office.

The city board approved its yearly allocation check to the Chamber of Commerce in the amount of $30,000 for the 2020 fiscal year. 

Mayor Gene McGee noted that the chamber was experiencing air conditioning issues at their Pear Orchard office. He said on Monday that it was a last-minute addition to the consent agenda at the request of the chamber.

“We always write them a check,” McGee said.

Ward 1 Alderman Ken Heard wanted to know when the check was supposed to be sent.

“Is this an advance?” he asked.

McGee said that the check is sent when the chamber makes the request. 

City Clerk Paula Tierce said on Tuesday afternoon that they request funds each year and the City has approved $30,000 for the last several years. 

“Typically, they would not get the check until they made the request and it was placed on the agenda for approval and payment,” Tierce said. “However, yesterday the director requested the payment ASAP for the FY2020 allocation. Therefore, I requested that the Mayor add it to the agenda.” 

Executive Director Linda Bynum confirmed that they were having air conditioning issues. She said that the unit was installed in 1995, before the chamber even occupied the building, and had “served its purpose.”

Bynum said that they have been grateful to receive an allocation from the city since the chamber’s founding in 1993. 

She said the funds are generally requested over the summer while the new budget is being drafted and are released to the chamber mid-October after a request letter is submitted. 

Bynum said she was glad the city could make the money available earlier to address this problem.

“The city has been gracious enough to allocate funding for us and has done so since we were established,” Bynum said. “We are very grateful and the money allows us to continue to offer great services to our businesses and community and ensure our members get first-class treatment.”

Bynum also clarified that the whole sum was not going towards their air conditioning needs.