Fairfield Bay City Council had a straight-forward meeting Monday night, April 9, as initiatives were reviewed. The forthcoming opening of a hotel by the city’s conference center remains an exciting topic for the body.
A resolution was passed for the city apply for funding to extend and improve the Indian Rock House Cave Trail, complimenting the recently-approved Fairfield Bay Historic District. The 80/20 grant would have the city putting up $41,615 against the $208,075 project.
Trail development would require an exacting process, due to there being possible artifacts such as arrowheads in the area, as well as the trail being accessible per the Americans with Disabilities act. These factors lead to the trail expense, City of Fairfield Bay Mayor Paul Wellenberger told the council.
Some concern was expressed for the Fire Department budget in the Treasurer’s report, described as “running very tight,” with $9,000 in its account balance after bond service. During the department’s presentation, the council heard how the department was seeking grant opportunities for protective clothing. Over $21,000 is needed for the fire department to be in compliance, the council was told.
Despite this, the department responded to 27 calls in March as well as tactical training, along with supporting the community Easter Egg hunt, Fire Chief Leo Brandmeyer said.
The police department presented that it had resolved “several issues” in area neighborhoods. Police Chief David Burnett said they currently had 12 people in jail that the department had been pursuing.
Council member Don Bailey thanked the chief for the department’s work in dealing with Third Ward projects in the community at the end of the police presentation.
In other council matters:EMS Captain Andrea Notz reported 20 helicopter transports had taken place so far in 2018, compared to 2 “in all of 2017.”The Tiny Homes project is in the permitting process, which included presenting rezoning requests to Property and Zoning, public hearings and further city council review to come.The city was discussing the wet/dry initiative with Cleburne County toward a 2020 ballot measure. Tentatively, Cleburne County was interested in working with Fairfield Bay, Wellenberger told the council. The problem was the expense of a vote initiative, which Cleburne, with its Heber Springs population base, could help offset, he told the council.Wellenberger had met with Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for the rollout of the Arkansas Economic Development Commissions Competitive Communities Initiative. This, if the city decides to undertake it, would have the city reviewed and prepared for industry sites. The problem is the expense, as requirements such as pre-cleared land would have to be met, he told the council.The animal shelter had recently undergone several improvements, including better gates and walls, and a drop ceiling. Labor for the project was donated by RS Construction.The city is in the process of turning the campground over to the Community Club, the council was told.Plans, including hospitality for visiting dignitaries, including Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, are underway for the Cobblestone Hotel groundbreaking event April 26.