Council announces winners of food truck lottery

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Food trucks will be moving into Eureka Springs soon.

On Monday night, the Eureka Springs City Council drew names for the first annual food truck lottery. Property owners interested in having food trucks on their property entered the lottery.

City Clerk Ann Armstrong said there was one entry for each location. These entries were the winners by default, she said. William D. Reed of Reed Construction Co. won the Highway 62 spot, Travis D. Holloway of Holloway Commercial Properties won the Center Street spot and South Galaxy LLC won the 23 South spot.

Also at the meeting, alderman Bob Thomas said he wanted to revisit the council’s decision to create a committee addressing demolition by neglect. Thomas said he didn’t agree with the way the committee was created, saying he wanted to see citizens represented on it.

Alderwoman Kristi Kendrick, who proposed the committee, said she suggested the idea to help the city.

“The reason I brought it up is because procedures in the code allow the city to work only towards demolition, and I would like the city to have more tools so they could perhaps head off demolition by assisting landowners or taking some other options,” she said. “I was just hoping that maybe a committee could explore ways that we could prevent our historic properties from being demolished … that we could stop what just happened last week.”

Kendrick was referring to the recent demolition of a historic home on Singleton Street.

Alderman David Mitchell said he supported the committee.

“There is no demolition by neglect ordinance proactive before the building becomes damaged. She’s looking at a program that possibly could be developed to prevent it,” Mitchell said. “The reason the historic district is part of this is because this whole city is a historic district. We’ve reached a point where … we could lose our historic district because of a lack of contributing structures.”

Alderwoman Mickey Schneider said she was concerned about the people on the committee.

“What we need is a committee of experienced, knowledgeable personnel. We need to get people who know and understand the laws,” she said. “We need to have people working on this that can come up with a guideline … that can protect the building before they get to the point of destruction.”

Kendrick said she is qualified to be on the committee.

“Excuse me. I was chief deputy city attorney in New Orleans in charge of housing and neighborhood development,” she said. “I went to Flint, Mich. I think I am qualified to work on this.”

Alderman Terry McClung said the city has more of a problem with enforcement than demolition by neglect.

“The problem we have is enforcement. It’s always been,” he said. “If you’re not going to enforce the laws, then you haven’t got jack, and that’s our problem.”

He added that he didn’t understand why the council was returning to an ordinance passed two years ago.

“We passed this in 2014 and we’re rehashing something that’s that recent. If we didn’t do it right then … I thought we did it right then,” he said. “All we’ve got to do is what the ordinance says and follow through with it. Nobody follows through with anything. That’s the problem.”

Mitchell agreed.

“Bingo,” he said. “That’s all [Kendrick] was looking at is if there is anything the city can do that can be done in advance to help these people with these properties that are neglected.”

In other business, the council addressed the City Advertising and Promotion Commission’s contract to run The Auditorium in 2017. Mayor Butch Berry said the contract is the same it has been for years with one exception: The commission is offering to pay the city $40,000 for utilities, maintenance and insurance on the building. He said the commission will be paying the city $3,333 each month to meet the terms of the agreement.

McClung, who sits on the CAPC, said the commission already spends $110,000 each year on The Auditorium.

“The CAPC agreed to do this as a one-year deal. This is not an annual deal,” McClung said. “It’s one year to help the city to cover this expense they have paid in the past to relieve a little bit of pressure this coming year, and it’s being paid monthly.”

The council unanimously voted to approve the contract.

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, at City Hall.

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