Council OKs resolution to finance shuttle purchase for parks

Thursday, October 17, 2019

By Samantha Jones

The Eureka Springs Parks and Recreation Commission is getting ready to take ownership of two shuttle buses for the downhill trails at Lake Leatherwood City Park.

On Monday night, the Eureka Springs City Council voted to approve a resolution to finance the purchase of the vehicles. Mayor Butch Berry noted that the council previously voted to waive bidding on the purchase, saying the parks commission received a good bid from a local bank.

The resolution says the commission has received financing quotes for the purchase of the Shuttlebug vehicle for $28,958 and the Midwest shuttle vehicle for $35,000. The commission has accepted financing through Equity Bank, the resolution says, for 60 months at 2.91 percent interest.

Also at the meeting, the council approved an ordinance to rezone 1 Planer Hill from R-2 Contemporary Residential to C-2 Contemporary Commercial. Berry said the property is right behind the Queen Anne Mansion on Highway 62, saying it's the only place that's residential and surrounded by commercial properties in that area.

Alderman Terry McClung moved to approve the ordinance on a first reading and the council unanimously agreed to do so. McClung then moved to approve the ordinance on second and third readings by title only. The council approved both readings but alderman Bob Thomas questioned why the third reading was necessary.

McClung said the matter was already unanimously approved by the planning commission and called it a "cut and dry deal." The Eureka Springs Community Center owns the property, McClung said.

"There hasn't been any dissent from any of the neighbors," McClung said. "I'm not talking about doing an emergency clause. We'll just go ahead and do a third reading and they can go ahead and proceed on closing and the money can go to the community center."

"So no emergency clause and 30 days as usual?" said alderwoman Mickey Schneider. "That I ain't got no problem with."

The council moved on to discuss a proposed ordinance for changes in city code regarding animals on unoccupied property. The proposed ordinance says it is a violation of city law to either confine an animal or animals at a location that is not occupied by a person on a "regular daily basis." Alderwoman Melissa Greene moved to assign the proposed ordinance a number and read it for the first time, but McClung said he thought the language used in the proposed ordinance is vague.

"Someone has to live there on a daily basis," Berry said. "This is to prevent something like [a kennel] from happening."

Thomas asked how the proposed ordinance would affect a person who goes out of town for a few weeks but has a pet sitter stop by every day to check on their animals.

"They would still be living there," Greene said.

"But not occupying it," Thomas said.

Alderwoman Susan Harman said it's important for the proposed ordinance to be written correctly and Thomas agreed.

"When we see something faulty on how legal it is, I don't like to try to put in the correct word at this table," Thomas said. "I think the attorney should look at it."

Thomas moved to defer the matter to the city attorney and the council voted 4-2 to do so, with Schneider and Greene voting no.

In other business, the council approved an ordinance to vacate an alley east of Alamo on second and third readings, canceled the meeting scheduled for Nov. 11 and renewed the franchise for Joe Gunnels' tram tours.

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at The Auditiorium.

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