Council agrees to install more dog waste stations

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Eureka Springs City Council encountered a poopy situation Monday night.

Alderwoman Melissa Greene told the council she has been looking into how much it will cost to install more dog waste stations throughout the city, saying she learned it’s less expensive if the stations are attached to a trash can. It’s about $150 per station attached to a trash can, Greene said, which is $100 less than it would cost to install a freestanding station.

“I’ve gotten a lot of really good feedback that it really is a friendly thing if we can have some more of those,” Greene said. “I’m told our locals are using them downtown. I think it would be a nice thing, and it’s not real expensive.”

Alderman Terry McClung said he isn’t sure there’s a need for more dog waste stations.

“It seems to me like if they take pets with them to travel or even those who live here in town … they’re educated enough now to know they need to be prepared for such things,” McClung said. “Why wouldn’t they be?”

Dog owners are generally aware they need to clean up after their pets, Greene said, but that’s not the reason she suggested having more stations.

“I think it’s friendly. It makes our city cleaner. I don’t think it’s a huge expense,” Greene said. “It would just be nice. It’s a nice, friendly thing to do for our tourists.”

Alderman Bob Thomas moved to install four dog waste stations throughout town costing no more than $1,000, and the council agreed to do so.

In other business, Mayor Butch Berry presented a resolution authorizing the city to apply for a grant from the Economic Development Administration. Berry said the grant would bring in $782,059.82 for the city, with the grant providing $625,647.86 and the city kicking in $156,411.96. That money would go toward rehabilitating Black Bass Dam, Berry said.

“The reason we wanted to put this on here was the grant writer from the administration said we needed to have it for the grant application,” Berry said.

McClung moved to approve the resolution, and the council agreed to do so.

During public comments, the council heard from B’Elanna Powell about the Antique Auto Festival. Powell said the festival did not go how she expected it to, saying it hasn’t been that way for two years now.

“I’m not very happy with what has happened with this,” Powell said.

The antique car parade didn’t last very long, Powell said, and she spotted at least four cars that weren’t antique. The bank robbery re-enactment, Powell said, wasn’t at all what she hoped it would be.

“I have heard they had auditions for it, and before, you just showed up at Chelsea’s and you were in costume and you did it,” Powell said. “It’s a theatre troupe that’s taken it over. I’m sure it was a great performance, but that’s not what it’s supposed to be.”

She continued, “It’s supposed to be a ragtag group of people who show up, walk in, rob the bank, walk out, get shot and that’s it. They have fun and they go back to Chelsea’s. That’s the way I grew up with it.”

Alderwoman Mickey Schneider said she wasn’t pleased with the festival, either. The parade didn’t last more than 15 minutes, Schneider said, and it took place at 4 p.m. on a Saturday.

“I remember when it was determined all parades need to be done Friday at 5 p.m.,” Schneider said. “You took a parade we had forever and moved it. I hope you all sit up, smell the coffee and realize when things work, don’t screw with it. Rain had zero to do with it.”

Berry said it’s not up to the city to decide when a parade happens. The Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce runs the Antique Auto Festival, Berry said.

“This is all done by the chamber,” Berry said.

Interim chamber director Damon Henke said Tuesday the weather is a big reason why the festival didn’t go the way many expected this year.

“We had so many pre-registrations, up to over 100 cars pre-registered, which indicates we were going to have a 400-car show,” Henke said. “We were all geared up at the Passion Play for a giant show. The show was a third of what we expected. We’re very proud we pulled off a car show despite all the forecasted rain that ran everyone off.”

Also at the meeting, the council approved a proposed ordinance for real and personal property taxes on a first and second reading.

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at The Auditorium.

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