Current City Business: Wards, Liquor By the Drink, Broadband Internet, and Planning Commission
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
At this week’s city council meeting we had the first reading of two ordinances that should be of interest to the residents of Holiday Island. The first is Ordinance 2021-007, an ordinance establishing voting wards in Holiday Island. Since we are now a city of the 2nd class, we are required by law to set up wards for future city council elections. You can view the ordinance which includes a map and boundary descriptions of the wards on the city website. We will have two more readings of this ordinance in order for everyone to be fully aware of the ward boundaries before final approval. The ward map is in PDF format which means you can enlarge it on your computer screen to see the boundaries more clearly. Watch for more information in the future about the next city council election in 2022 and what you will need to do if you wish to run for one of the council positions.
The second ordinance 2021-008 will allow liquor by the drink sales at restaurants in the city. Given that the restaurants in Holiday Island depend heavily on tourist and visitor business, and given Holiday Island’s close proximity to Eureka Springs where full bar service is the norm, it is seen as being vital to the success of our restaurant owners that they be able to provide this service. Due to the fact that obtaining a liquor license from the State Alcoholic Beverage Control is a lengthy time-consuming process, the city council is scheduling a special meeting for August 24th to do the 2nd and 3rd reading of the ordinance. This will expedite by a few weeks the timeline for the business owners in obtaining the necessary permits.
In other business at the meeting Jerry Pittman updated the council on the status of the grant application to conduct an engineering study to provide broadband internet service to all of Holiday Island. This grant requires no matching funding from the city. The engineering study would provide the information necessary to apply for future grants to install the fiber optic cable and give property owners an opportunity to connect to the service. Currently there are large areas of Holiday Island that do not have cable and the cost to the individuals living in these areas to have cable extended to their property is prohibitive. This puts Holiday Island at a significant disadvantage relative to potential work from home residents, families with children who need the internet as part of their education and those residents who could be benefiting from telemedicine services. The grant application will be made in September.
Lynn Dumas reported that the Planning Commission is currently working on preparing the planning area map for the city which will identify all the zoning requirements currently contained in the unit covenants. This will be the basis for the city adopting zoning ordinances and eventually taking over enforcement responsibility.
There is a lot going on. If you want to keep up with what the city is doing, I encourage you to attend the council meetings either in person or via zoom and check the website for updates.