WAC, The City & More

What The?!!: July 14


Oh, the non-drama


Digging in to a truly meaty subject.

The dramas at the Walton Arts Center are probably way more interesting than any drama surrounding the center’s possible expansion in Fayetteville at the moment, which is essentially in a holding pattern.

On Monday, July 11, Fayetteville Advertising & Promotion commissioners again decided no action is the best action currently on a proposal that could shift some of the city’s collected hotel, motel and restaurant sales tax to fund an addition to the WAC. Fayetteville got its heart broke last year when WAC honchos decided to give a 2,200-seat performance hall engagement ring to Bentonville instead, though the center would still like to see Fayetteville on the side with an added 600-seat theater gracing the city’s décolletage.

Best guess on the price for Fayetteville’s new jewelry is about $30 million, though WAC reps are still waiting on three studies the center commissioned to determine cost, how to build the addition, etc. Without those reports in hand, A&P commissioners decided to hold off on doing anything until that information rolls in — probably not until September or later.

Once it does, city administration is hoping commissioners will be ready to approve sending a $6.7 million bond issue proposal to support the expansion to be debated at city council. If aldermen like what they see, they would then have to pass the proposal on to a vote of the people. Mayor Lioneld Jordan, who was at the A&P meeting Monday, is clearly chomping at the bit to take the WAC expansion issue to Fayetteville voters for approval.

Oh, and the University of Arkansas might even get in on the dance as well, matching Fayetteville’s contribution for the addition, though that would have to be approved by the UA Board of Trustees.



Patients With Smokers


My aunt had some health issues over the weekend and ended up being transported from my hometown hospital 80 miles away to Washington Regional Medical Center, where she was treated quite well and released Monday afternoon.

On the way over to Fayetteville though, my aunt caught a whiff of some unpleasant business. Twice during the ambulance ride, either the driver or his compatriot lit up and let the unmistakable odor of cigarette smoke waft into the back of the vehicle … while my aunt was hooked up to an oxygen flow … with a specific note on her records that she’s allergic to cigarette smoke.

I was pleased to find her in good spirits on Saturday, but I was flabbergasted when she told me of her odorous encounter. Since the ambulance originated in my hometown, I’m sure Washington Regional and our local ambulance service had nothing to do with these people. To those who were involved, you put a lousy stink on the term health care “professional.”



Business Is Boring


You can tell it’s summer, not just because of the heat but because there’s little but the usual run-of-the-mill, boring, ho-hum activities taking place in city government.

It’s the stuff that’s necessary, the day-by-day, week-by-week and month-by-month activity that’s needed to make sure a municipality keeps running. It’s not always sexy, it’s not always exciting, but it is what keeps the wheels turning.

Check out some of the excitement discussed at the city council agenda session to be voted on during at the Tuesday, July 19 meeting:

σ Verizon Third Amendment: A resolution to approve the Third Amendment of the water tower attachment communication site agreement of December 2009 to allow new and additional cell phone antennas to be placed upon the Gulley Road Water Tower by Verizon.

σ Bid #11-41 Donnie Sams: A resolution awarding Bid #11-41 and approving a five year airport hay field lease with Donnie Sams of West Fork, Arkansas in the total rental amount of $12,805.00.

Yeah, it’s not the juicy sideshow that entities like the now-defunct News of the World long for but it’s what keeps cities running and it’s important.



Oh, And Just One More Thing …


Not all of the city business is boring. Prized local sculptor Mike Davis spoke at the council agenda session about the hope of boosting the presence of art in public places in Fayetteville.

Davis (no relation, btw, there’s a lot of us out there) is proposing an outdoor sculpture-specific show for Fayetteville that could itself help fund acquiring public art to sit along the city trail system.

Now, that’s an interesting story — and a worthy goal — that needs pursuing.

Categories: Commentary