It was a fairly low-key meeting for the Fairfield Bay City Council this month, as council members reviewed the current state of affairs at its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, July 10. A repeating topic was various public service agencies engaging in community outreach, and preparations for changes as new laws come into effect.
Community outreach came up several times, as departments outlined activities as they engaged with the community. Police held a bicycle safety rodeo event, and reported to the council it would not have been possible without EMS, Fire Department, Kirk’s Men’s Club and others pitching in to help. The department is also working on a back-to-school supplies event for August.
The Fairfield Bay Fire Department reported its own outreach, not only in assisting with the bicycle safety rodeo, but in its implementing a fire and rescue ATV in its services. It had been pointed out in recent months to the council that the new ATV law in Arkansas, going into effect August 1, would increase ATV traffic.
Relative to this was a discussion of the recent fireworks event over the July 4 weekend at Fairfield Bay, including the volunteers, led by fire department members, who pitched into to help when one of the fireworks contractors were taken ill. Fairfield Bay Fire Chief Leo Brandmeyer told the board of this going as far as his coming by after the firework show was over to help take down the equipment to help out the stricken contractors.
In return for the efforts the event attracted “the most boats ever,” Bradmeyer said.
EMS continues to be busy, with 35 runs to assist Southern Paramedic so far this year, compared to 31 in total for the previous year. Outreach here was a joint Education Night with the Fire Department on June 26, and ambulances participating in the July 4 parade.
Economic development, is, of course, an ongoing topic for the city, as it is throughout Van Buren County. Mayor Paul Wellenberger presented to the council “game changers in the works for 2017,” including: The Ozark Homes development, with first homes expected to be complete in August; a Tiny Homes builder in discussion with the city to create “pocket neighborhoods;” ongoing discussions with an entity researching moving a boat factory to the city (this was first announced two months ago) and on-going interaction with a group interested in putting a hotel in Fairfield Bay. On the latter, the specific work now was working through the “banking piece.”