In case you missed it: Nov. 14 Town Hall Meeting

Staff photo
Fayetteville Fire Chief David Dayringer gives a presentation on holiday fire prevention during Monday night’s Town Hall meeting at Fayetteville Boys & Girls Club.

The final Town Hall Meeting of the year was held Monday night at the Fayetteville Boys and Girls Club.

About 30 people attended the meeting to hear Mayor Jordan and various department heads discuss what’s been happening with the city over the past three months.

Mayor Jordan spoke about his recent trip to Washington D.C. with other area mayors and Chamber of Commerce officials to discuss local issues with legislators. Jordan said that EPA regulations,transportation, and the closing of the regional postal center were some of the issues brought up.

Jordan also mentioned that city staff has been working on three large construction projects that in Fayetteville, including the $5.5 million parking deck proposed for downtown, the $15 renovation of the Cosmopolitan Hotel, and a $15 million theatre project, presumably a proposed 600-seat Walton Arts Center expansion.

“The Cosmopolitan, the deck and the theatre are all an investment of about $40 million for the city of Fayetteville next year,” he said.

Jordan concluded his discussion by mentioning several awards the city has received recently, including the Arkansas Volunteer Community of the Year, the Center for Digital Government Award, a Keep Arkansas Beautiful Shine Superstar Award, a Cities of Distinction Award, and three awards from America in Bloom.

Paul Becker – Finance Director

Finance director Paul Becker said that after two years of declining revenue in 2009 and 2010, sales tax numbers appear to be picking up in 2011.

“We’re going to collect about a million dollars more than we had last year in sales taxes, and that will be in the general fund,” he said. “In addition to that, we also received more in sales taxes that will go into our debt service fund that to pay off some of the bonds that we have for capital programs.”

Becker also mentioned the 2012 budget, which will go before the City Council on Tuesday, Nov. 15. A budget discussion meeting is set for 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 19 inside Room 326 of City Hall.

Matt Mihalevich – Trails Coordinator

Trails coordinator Matt Mihalovich discussed the “UA Farm Trail,” which will soon connect neighborhoods west of I-540 with Scull Creek Trail.

Pending City Council approval, the 2.3-mile trail will be named Meadow Valley Trail, a name that Mihalovich said comes from a schoolhouse that was once located in the area.

Mihalovich also discussed the tunnel under Garland Avenue that was recently completed.

David Jurgens – Utilities Director

David Jurgens spoke about a planned recycling drop-off and educational facility planned on the West side of Broyles Avenue in Fayetteville.

Jurgens also discussed the city’s recent addition of the ability to accept addition of Nos. 3-7 plastics at the recycling center located at 1420 S. Happy Hollow Road.

Connie Edmonston – Parks & Recreation

Connie Edmonston reminded attendees about the Lights of the Ozarks parade and lighting ceremony scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19.

Edmonston also said that her department hopes to soon add new amenities to IAMS Dog Park, including a dog bathing area, a fishing pier at the park’s pond, and additional walking trails.

David Dayringer – Fire Department

Fire Chief David Dayringer urged residents to sign up for emergency alerts via email and text message on the city’s website.

He also gave a multimedia presentation on holiday fire safety.

Mike Reynolds – Fayetteville Police Department

Deputy police chief Mike Reynolds reminded residents about new laws regarding prohibiting cell phone use in school zones while children are present, and highway construction zones while workers are present in Arkansas.