Metropolis council votes for leisure districts

Mayor Norma Strabala during the city council meeting last night. The council decided unanimously to build an entertainment district on Südmain in downtown Stuttgart.

The Stuttgart city council decided in its regular council meeting on Tuesday, September 7th, in the town hall to set up an entertainment district along the main street in downtown Stuttgart.

The Council unanimously passed the 1984 regulation defining an area in the city center for entertainment. The district runs along Main Street and allows the city to issue a permit after paying the set fees. In order for the event to be able to serve alcohol, the organizer must obtain an alcohol permit from the Alcohol Control Commission (ABC) and a permit from the city.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Skinner stated that not every event would serve alcohol, but some events may want to. In this case, both the alcohol permit and the city permit would have to be acquired.

She said that when organizers request an event in the entertainment district, the request will be presented to the council along with the details of the event for a decision on approval.

“It would be just like we are doing road closures now,” said Mayor Norma Strabala. “(The event) would come before the council before anything is approved.”

The Council unanimously approved the regulation. However, no fee costs were approved for the permits. Skinner said she could have the council approval costs reviewed in two weeks.

To encourage tourism within the city limits, the council voted to adopt Resolution 2021-13, which allows the city to officially become part of United States Bike Route 80.

Strabala said the route already goes through Stuttgart, but that supporting the route and allowing signage could help bring more tourists to the area, which is good for economic development. Bikers use the existing infrastructure.

In other matters, the council voted to allow Stuttgart City Airport to apply for a grant from the US Department of Commerce to finance a new hangar for the airport.

Airport director Carl Humphrey said the airport already has a tenant for the hangar and the project is being funded through that grant, with a 20 percent stake being funded by the Arkansas Department of Aviation.

“The new coat hanger won’t cost the city anything,” said Humphrey. “It’s a million dollar project.”

The measure was decided unanimously.

The council heard from Neil Maynard, who is a member of the Stuttgart Planning Commission. Maynard urged the council to consider three things going forward: assess whether a plot of land that will be incorporated into the city limits is properly zoned before annexation, consider whether prefabricated houses can provide affordable housing in some areas of the city, and check the possible widening of Bürklestrasse to a four-lane corridor around Stuttgart. While some of the proposals were briefly discussed, Maynard proposed a new fee schedule for city permits to the council. The new fees have been approved by the Council and come into force immediately.

Strabala said the city’s new code workers were still receiving training. The two new employees have completed an HVAC class and one his electrical training. After completing training, the code department is expected to be able to effectively enforce state and local building codes.

The next council meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 21st, at 5.30 p.m. in the town hall.

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