Feed them and they will come

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At Monday’s city council meeting, Mayor Butch Berry produced a one-question survey to be provided to downtown restaurateurs regarding food trucks at special events. The question is, “Would you be opposed or supportive of allowing more than one food truck to operate on Food Truck properties during high volume special events only?” 

The question arose as a response to the high volume of visitors during the Zombie Crawl last year. Alderman Mickey Schneider said the survey should provide more information to restaurants as well as ask questions such as, “Would you be interested in selling premade food products outside your building during special events?” Schneider said that the restaurant owners need to know that they can do this. 

In an opposing response, alderman Susan Harman replied, “I think it is up to every establishment to understand what they can and cannot do. It is their responsibility to do that. It is not the city’s responsibility to spoon-feed them the information that they need.” 

“It’s not a matter of the city spoon-feeding any of our people,” Schneider responded. “It’s a matter of the council is responsible for informing our people of what can and cannot be done. And since none of this has ever been done before, none of our people knows that this board, we, would allow what is not normally allowed. Remember, we represent the people. We, the council, we are suppose to stand up for them.” 

Schneider encouraged council to use the survey to better inform the businesses of large events saying, “Try thinking of the people that keep our town going.” She said she would like to see council work with the restaurateurs to feed the masses. 

Schneider was the only alderman who voted against the one-question survey saying to the mayor, “No. Take your time and do it right.” The one-question survey will be sent out to restaurateurs via email.

Eating and drinking are tourist friendly

Chair of the Entertainment District Committee, alderman Bob Thomas, provided a review of the results of the committee’s work to develop an entertainment district downtown. He said that before an Entertainment District can be fully realized, an ordinance needs to be in place to allow and set standards for it. After researching and developing, the committee produced a proposed ordinance that prepares the City to establish an ED. 

Thomas said that in his discussion with other city mayors, he believes an ED will help not only bring in more tourists, but also bring in new businesses to downtown. He stated that the October tourist events are the reason for a request to rush the ordinance through two readings at once. Council discussed and approved two readings of the ordinance, with Schneider opposing. The third and final reading is expected at the next meeting.

1 COMMENT

  1. Several cities in Ark. are in the process of adding Entertainment Districts to their downtown areas. Hopefully, Eureka Springs won’t be left behind, arguing for years about having anything new.

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