by Mayor, Paul Wellenberger
Nothing like a contest to see who excels at accurately throwing rubber cheeseburgers, or having the county Sheriff rocking and rolling singing Johnny Be Good on stage, or seeing our friends dressed up in tropical outfits while it’s pouring outside. But that was the scene Saturday night at the “Cheeseburgers in Paradise” fundraiser at the Fairfield Bay Conference Center. Well over a hundred were in attendance and several thousand dollars were raised to support our Community Education Center.
In one day our Building Official, Dallas Clark, got inquiries from three different individuals about building new homes in Fairfield Bay- one on Grand Isle, one on Snead, and one on Dave Creek Parkway. Three in one day was a first for Dallas.
Kim Manville completed the Arkansas Police Academy and officially became Fairfield Bay’s first certified female police officer. We are so very very proud of her. Chief Burnett is keeping up with all the national policing issues and is very appreciative of our citizens. Chief attended a community policing event at the White House recently and actually had an engaging one on one discussion with President Obama.
The concrete pads and connecting sidewalks were completed at the Rambling Cover trail for the pavilion and basketball court. The pavilion was built (less shingles, as the rains came). The four picnic tables were delivered. The basketball goal has still not been received but should go up in the next month. Joe Owen is going to order the court marking stencils and will round up volunteers to do the marking.
The 2016 road resurfacing projects were completed as well as this year’s striping projects. The roads that were done this year plus the rework that was done on Beaver, will be striped next year. We have applied for a 2017 grant to resurface Lost Creek Parkway from Mountain Ranch to the Conference Center.
The sewer extension to Highway 16 is nearing completion. The wet weather put a hold on work and this week’s forecast is not promising. We are within a few dry working days of completion. The extension will not only service the existing businesses on Highway 16 but will have the capacity to allow economic expansion to the 16 corridor.
In 5 years, annual revenues at the City Campgrounds at the marina have increased 260%. Thanks to Dallas Clark and super volunteers Ron and Linda Milligan.
The Fire Department will receive the last two of three new pumper trucks this month. They are busy dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s that will allow them to make the formal application to request a new ISO fire rating. This has been a long journey to get to this point for our firemen, but they are nearing the goal line. It is anticipated that we will make the formal application before year end and then it will take 3-6 months to get the results of the inspection. If successful, this will lower building insurance rates (depending on who your insurance provider is) and add one more arrow to our real estate agents marketing quiver.
Class offerings and participation are way up at the Community Education Center. Class participation is up to 432 through July. Especially noteworthy are the Sterling Scholars Lecture Series that our school Director, Dr. Catherine Swift, has been able to bring to us. Just call Catherine at 884-4440 and she will add you to the distribution of class schedules.
Our biggest need is still a hotel and we are working at attracting investors. Meanwhile, the Conference Center is staying afloat with numerous events, activities, and attracting conferences.
The City Council and I are committed to working with the new Club GM and Board to continue to move Fairfield Bay forward.