#1 News Story: Eureka Springs voters renew Lake Leatherwood tax
Citizens showed support for the Eureka
Springs Parks and Recreation Commission
on June 12 when they agreed
to renew a 0.125 percent tax for Lake
Leatherwood City Park.
In a special election, Eureka Springs
voters cast 107 votes (65.6 percent) to
renew the tax, compared with 56 votes
(34.36) against it. Parks director Justin
Huss said he’s happy that voters
renewed the tax, saying the tax passed
with a larger percentage than the first
special election establishing it four
“It is a big relief and a great privilege,”
Huss said. “We like to think this
shows that people see what we’ve been
doing and are enjoying that.”
Along with other members
of the parks commission,
chairman Bill Featherstone
greeted voters outside
St. Elizabeth’s Parish
Center. Featherstone said he
saw about 100 people come
out to vote.
“They seemed pleased
with the turnout, but for me, that seems
kind of light,” Featherstone said.
Commissioner Ruth Hager said she
was confident in the way the commission
has spent the tax money over the
past four years, saying she hoped voters
felt the same way.
“We’ve proven we have done a good
job with this money, so there’s just not
reason to not allow it to continue,” Hager
Featherstone said the tax
costs the average household
$30 per year. Over the past
four years, he said, the commission
has raised almost
$500,000 from the tax and
has received $175,000 in
matching grant money.
“This costs everyone one penny for
every $8 they spend in town. It’s such a
small price,” Featherstone said. “What
a great deal to have access to Leatherwood
for such a penance amount of
With the money from the tax, Featherstone
said, the commission has improved
the road leading to Lake Leatherwood,
installed “the best playground
in Carroll County” and added new
campsites and tent pads.
“There are so many good things that
will come out of this. It’s going to allow
us to do some real, long-range planning
for Leatherwood, and thinking in a completely
different way than we’ve ever
been able to,” Featherstone said.
He said the commission plans to use
the tax money to work on some expensive,
long-term projects, including fixing
the dam, dredging the lake, updating
the septic system and building a new
bathhouse and pavilion.
“It’s going to do a lot of tangible,
great things and continue what we’ve
already put in place,” Featherstone said.