A proposed list of criteria and eligibility information was submitted to the chamber on behalf of the organization's officers. The guidelines, which may be approved at the chamber's next meeting in April, will not be used for selecting chamber award recipients for the 2010 Chamber of Commerce Banquet. Instead, they will go towards future awards banquets.

"Not all awards have to be given," chamber member Janet Chaney said.

However, the award recipients were already selected for this year's banquet prior to approving the guidelines.

One change will be to have chamber members nominate or propose nominees for the all awards except the Veteran's Award and the Chamber Member of the Year. Those two awards are selected by the local veterans organization and the chamber president, respectively.

"If no one fits the bill then the award isn't presented," Chamber President Jim Friel said.

The final decision of award winners will rest with the officers, Friel said.

Also, for anyone to be awarded by the chamber, they must either be a member of the chamber of commerce and/or a part of the Newcomerstown community.

The final vote on the award guidelines will be made at the April 19 meeting. The chamber meets at noon at April's Country Kitch'n in Newcomerstown.

In related business, the chamber discussed the proposed by-laws for chamber officers.

Chaney said she believes the proposed guidelines were never approved by the organization but were discussed in the late 1990s.

The by-laws will also be approved at the next meeting once chamber members are able to review the by-laws.

The chamber also discussed the awards banquet which is set for Wednesday, May 5 at the David Barber Civic Center. The theme will be more relaxed and casual this year, Friel said. The theme will be an Hawaiian luau with dress and décor to also be casual and light-hearted. There is even a hog roast planned.

"We're hoping to have a good time that day," Friel said.

Reservation information will be mailed out soon.

In other business, chamber secretary Susan Schrickel discussed the chamber's Web site. The chamber agreed to have Schrickel attend a six-week training course over the Internet about creating and developing Web sites. The chamber will pay the $100 class fee if the course is completed within the next six months and her knowledge is used on the chamber's site.

The chamber also discussed the village's bicentennial celebration which is set for 2014. More information will be discussed later.

The chamber voted to donate $100 to Journey's End Ministries of Newcomerstown as part of its Feinstein Challenge campaign. Last year, they raised $8,300 through the program which allowed the organization to purchase 22 percent of the year's total food supply.