Parks’ commissioner OK’d; HDC’s not just yet

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City council unanimously appointed Kevin Ruehle to the Parks Commission on Monday evening, but Randy Maddox’s request to be placed on the Historic District Commission was deferred to the next meeting due to his “neighborly problems.” Aldermen Mickey Schneider and Melissa Greene preferred to delay a vote rather than deal with the request immediately.

Maddox was present, so council called him to the microphone where Schneider asked him if his legalities had been settled yet. “No, not yet,” he responded.

“I think that we need to make our decision with or without these legalities,” alderman Terry McClung said, stating that Maddox’s issues with his neighbor may not necessarily be council’s concern.

Schneider disagreed citing that Maddox’s disagreement may involve historic district guidelines. Bob Thomas was also ready to make a decision, opposing the motion to defer.

Grant amount revised

Mayor Butch Berry provided an updated Res. 784 that authorizes him to submit a USDA Rural Development Community Facility grant for $50,000 to purchase a $107,019 bucket truck. Berry said the resolution at the last meeting was for an incorrect dollar amount and council unanimously approved it. He and City Attorney Weaver discussed passing an ordinance at the next meeting to waive the requirement for competitive bidding for the bucket truck.

B&B definition shelved for now

Council approved the mid-year 2020 budget resolution which was amended by only $31,303 of the total $10.8 million annual appropriations. Aldermen also deferred the Bed & Breakfast definition-change ordinance request to the Planning Commission.

It was determined that city employee Glenna Booth added verbiage to the ordinance that was not approved by Planning commissioners. Commissioner Ann Tandy-Sallee told aldermen, “Those last two paragraphs were added by Glenna Booth and I don’t support either of them.”

Commission Chair LauraJo Smole was also present to confirm the discrepancy citing that these changes were not voted on by the commission. City Attorney Weaver stated that the proposed changes take away city rights, reaffirming that the original goal to clean-up contradictory wording had adversely affected the municipal codes.

  • During closing comments, alderman Melissa Greene spoke against abolishing the Historic District Commission, saying she fears that without the HDC, Eureka Springs could “start to look like Branson.”

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