An ordinance was passed to help support the new hotel, and the ongoing effort for a wet-dry vote in Van Buren County were two topics on the Fairfield Bay City Council agenda for its Jan. 13 meeting.
The support came in the form of an ordinance to allow rebates to Cobblestone Hotel for its spending on Advertising and Promotion. As passed, the ordinance permits rebates up to $25,000 to the hotel for any of its spending on advertising and promotion. The rebate would come from the city’s existing Advertising and Promotion (A&P) fund.
The ordinance was structured in such a way that it only applied to the current owners of Cobblestone Hotel, that it required proof of expenditure and that it only rebated what was actually spent. If the hotel spends $10,000 in a year it can only expect a $10,000 rebate.
The hotel’s opening in its location by the Fairfield Bay Conference Center has been heralded as a major boost for the local economy.
The petition drive to put a wet-dry vote on the county’s November ballot is underway, the council was told.
In other council matters:
• In the Treasurer’s report, the council was told that sales tax revenues were up, moving from $376,837 in 2018 to $394,690 in 2019 – representing a $1.2 million increase in taxable sales.
• The Fairfield Bay Police Department delivered food to 177 people over the holidays. Citation numbers were down for December, the council was told, but the department did hand out 40 cookie tins.
• The police department is working on reserve officer recruitment.
• The Fairfield Bay Fire Department has begun meeting with design professionals on plans for replacement of Fire Station 2. That department is working on coordinating with the soon-to-be operational medical helicopter.
• Fairfield Bay EMS is holding a CPR class Jan. 10 at 9 a.m. It made 792 runs in 2019, 642 of which were emergency. Air ambulance was utilized 31 times.
• Lynn Creek crossing repair and risk mitigation has been completed and is in the final, closeout, phase.
• The $160,985 grant to provide a hangar for Survival Flight medical helicopter has been received, the council was told. The council was told how this provides not just a helicopter, but a minimum of 10 high-paying jobs in the city.
• A new boat sales and repair business is coming to the city’s Greenwood Building.
• Fairfield Bay will be recognized as Volunteer Community of the Year at the Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference, in February. The award will be presented by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.