El Dorado News

April 25, 2018
El Dorado News Times

Felsenthal Council begins process of condemning properties

By Haley Smith
This article was published May 18, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

By Haley Smith

Staff Writer

FELSENTHAL — During the most recent monthly meeting of the Felsenthal City Council, the council had its first reading of an ordinance that will allow council members and the mayor to investigate and condemn properties inside the city limits of Felsenthal.

“This is a huge step. This is why I took so long getting this ordinance ready. I want to make sure it is legal, enforceable and that we have the means to do it,” said Linda Newbury, Felsenthal mayor.

With this ordinance, it would become unlawful for any individual, partnership, corporation or association to own a structure within the corporate limits of the town that could be declared a nuisance by the council.

“There have been all kinds of homes that have been left in this town. They’re falling in on themselves,” said Newbury.

The council also had the first reading of a town beautification ordinance. This ordinance outlined what a property should look like and defined what the council considers a nuisance or hazard to the community.

Alderman Ryan Eads presented the board with a working design for ‘Welcome to Felsenthal’ signs along with a price quote for them from Pro-Glass in El Dorado. It will be $380 for one or $600 for two.

The four signs will be metal, one-sided and 4x8 foot in size. The signs will be ready within two weeks of placing the order.

“We will have to build the frame and place the posts ourselves but we can do that,” Eads said.

The council decided to approve the purchase of the signs and work on the design in the coming weeks. They hope the signs will be installed by the time Bream Fest takes place on Memorial Day weekend.

Newbury revisited the idea of combining the city’s water and sewer bills after calling and speaking with other municipalities about how they handle that situation.

Her hope is that by combining the two, it would make paying for expenses easier by withdrawing money from one fund instead of two separate funds.

Office workers for the city shared several concerns for this change.

“Back when we started taking care of the water system, it was decided that the water system would always stand alone. It would not be combined with anything else,” said the city of Felsenthal employee, Martha Jo Lancaster.

When the city took over the water system, there was a large group of citizens who were concerned with how the council would use the money and it was decided that the council would keep the systems separated so a citizen could see what the money was being used for.

“I feel like enough time has gone by that those concerns maybe aren’t as serious as they would have been as when we first took over the water system,” Newbury said. “I think people have realized that we wouldn’t piddle away the money like they were concerned we were going to do.”

The council tabled the discussion for a later meeting to allow everyone to think about the best course of action in the matter.

The dumpster that the city had brought in for a citywide cleanup was a huge success, according to the Water and Sewer superintendent, Mickey Parker.

He also said that next time they bring a dumpster in, he will look at getting a smaller size than the one that they had last time. The last one was too tall to throw items in over the side comfortably and he wants to make it as easy as possible for anyone who is using the dumpster.

Haley Smith can be contacted by email at hsmith@eldoradonews.com. Follow her on Facebook and twitter at @hsmithEDNT.

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