Alva Review-Courier -

Invenergy hosts Alva Chamber Community Coffee


November 17, 2019

Marione Martin

Top Left: Haley Ragan describes the new Northwest Oklahoma Young Professionals group, which kicked off Nov. 12 in Alva. Bottom Center: Alva Chamber Director Alex Mantz listens as guests introduce themselves during Friday's Community Coffee at Invenergy. Top Right: Demi Gastouniotis of Invenery welcomes guests to Alva Chamber Community Coffee Friday morning.

After opening a local office about a month ago, Invenergy offered to host the Alva Chamber Community Coffee Friday morning. Demi Gastouniotis of Invenergy welcomed guests to the office at 505 College Ave., located just south of the downtown square between Hair on the Square and Sweet Harper.

"We are a renewable energy company working on the Sundance project which is coming to town," said Gastouniotis. "This is a good home base for us to have landowners pop in with questions as we move through the development phase, which will take another few months before we move into construction."

The 199 megawatt project will be located southeast of Alva and mostly in Woods County. It will include Alfalfa County and interconnect with a project in Major County. Gastouniotis said Sundance will have an operations and maintenance building in the local area. Once completed, Sundance will bring six full-time operations and maintenance jobs to the area.

During construction, Sundance will support an estimated 150 jobs. Gastouniotis encourages community members to stop by the local office if they have rental property, places to stay, restaurants or other resources that might appeal to construction employees. The office will compile information to be made available to construction contractors coming into the area during that phase of the project.

Northwest Oklahoma Young Professionals

Haley Ragan told the audience about a new group, Northwest Oklahoma Young Professionals. The first meeting was held Nov. 12 with about 25 attending. The group is still deciding what days and times will work best for meetings. Age range is 21 (because alcohol is served) to 40.

Ragan encouraged those interested to join the group's Facebook page where upcoming events will be posted.

Alva Christmas Events

Chamber Director Alex Mantz gave details about coming events for Christmas. Alva merchants will hold a Christmas Open House on Saturday, Nov. 23, to encourage people to shop local.

The Candy Cane Cash Giveaway will be on Saturday, Dec. 7. Mantz said boxes are already appearing in stores where people may enter for the drawing with Chamber Bucks as prizes. These may then be spent with local participating merchants.

Saturday, Dec. 7, events kick off with the Alva Fire and Police Departments hosting Breakfast with Santa at the fire station from 8:30 to 11 a.m. A craft show will be held at the Woods County Fairgrounds Merchant's Building from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Alva Christmas Retail Open House begins at 10 a.m. An ornament hunt for savings will begin at 4 p.m. on the courthouse lawn. The Candy Cane Cash Giveaway drawing will be at 4:30 p.m.

The Christmas Parade is scheduled for 5 p.m. on the downtown square. Mantz said anyone wishing to participate in the parade may contact her, Jodie Bradford at the Chamber (327-1647), or Deb and Paul Corr. The parade will conclude at the Holtzclaw Pocket Park on the north side of the square. Santa will be at that location to take gift requests from youngsters and pose for pictures. Caroling will also occur there. Mantz said churches have been contacted to encourage participation but all singers are welcome.

In case of rain, the parade will be held Sunday, Dec. 8, at 4 p.m.

Census 2020

Sonja Williams, representing Northwest Technology and the Woods County Economic Development Committee, said an Oklahoma Arts Council grant writing workshop will be held Thursday, Nov. 21, at Northwest Tech from 10 a.m. to noon.

Also on Nov. 21 will be a Census 2020 meeting at High Plains Tech. Mantz indicated she plans to attend that.

"As community leaders – I think Alex will validate this as well – it is very important that we get the message out and have everybody counted," said Williams. "That impacts not only our representation; that impacts dollars we receive to the state, to the county. We need everybody counted, and we need everybody spreading that message because it is extremely important."

The census happens only once every ten years. "We are underserved and under-represented," said Williams.

"It's projected that we have a higher population than we did on the last census," added Mantz. She emphasized that census information is private; there are no worries about telemarketers making use of the information gathered.

"If you are in Oklahoma, if you are in Alva, if you are in Woods County, even if you are a college student, you get counted," said Williams.

Kelsey Martin said when she was a college student she assumed her parents were filling out the form for her. However, Mantz and Williams say if students are living away from home, they are to be counted wherever they are staying. Mantz added that undocumented citizens can fill out their information also. "They are not in any jeopardy by filling that out," she said. "Even our homeless population is being documented."

The count starts on April 1, Williams said. On May 31, about a thousand people will be going around to contact those who have not filed with the census.

This is the first year the census will be online, said Williams. "Being in rural Oklahoma, there are a lot of people – and I'm one of them – that struggle to have internet." Mantz said the public library will be the public location for census filing for those with poor or no internet.

Mantz concluded by inviting everyone to enjoy the breakfast foods and beverages provided by Invenergy.

A video of the meeting may be viewed at


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