In case you missed it: May 3 Town Hall Meeting

For a crowd of about 10 at Ridgeview Baptist Church last night, the mayor had another town hall meeting. Here’s the tick-tock of what was discussed.

Finance Director Paul Becker spent about 25 minutes recapping the Mayor’s plan to address the budget deficit, which includes a furlough day for city staff and turning off trail lights after 11 p.m.

While the city has about $1.4 million in undedicated reserve funds, Becker reiterated that the reserve money should be saved for future years.

“We can’t just answer whatever shortfalls we have right now with reserves or it could get the city in a bigger financial crisis,” Becker said.

Next on the docket, Sharon Crosson, parking and telecommunications manager for the city, talked about the paid parking plan. The plan will go before the City Council Tuesday night, and the ordinances dealing with the plan will hear three readings before a vote is taken, Crosson said.

In somewhat of a twist, the council might decide to allocate a portion of the new parking revenue to the Walton Arts Center to ensure their imminent expansion is within Fayetteville’s city limits.

Don Marr, the mayor’s chief of staff, said the WAC was a major economic driver that revitalized Dickson Street many years ago.

“So a part of the parking revenues will also go towards a long-term partnership with them,” if the council approves the measure, Marr said.

At previous meetings and public input sessions, Crosson had said that aside from operating the program, the revenue would specifically be earmarked to a build a parking deck.

Also at the meeting, the HMR tax initiative, which is on the May 18 primary ballot, got a shout-out from Connie Edmonston, director of parks and recreation. The measure would not change the tax, except to allow some of the money to be spent on maintenance of the parks.

Voting for the item would allow the department to use the money for maintenance.

Lastly, John Coleman talked about the new website where citizens can monitor the city’s utilities consumption and see how Fayetteville compares with other communities.

Mary Robbins is a regular contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. She declared Fayetteville as her hometown upon moving here for college. She is a Journalism graduate who enjoys live music, the outdoors and attending city council meetings. For more of Mary’s contributions, visit her author page.