The City Commission of Arkansas City heard concerns about a local haunted house during its meeting Oct. 18.

ark-city-logoResident Justin Jagels said the presence of the haunted house on West Colorado Avenue could have an effect on the quality of life for the area.

Jagels has small children whose sleeping schedule could be altered if the haunted house causes screams in the neighborhood.

In addition, he expressed concerns about how increased traffic potentially could damage property values.

The commissioners initially were unsure of what they could do about the issue.

However, City Manager Nick Hernandez pointed out that there could be potential fire hazards, as well as issues if the people running the haunted house were charging an entry fee without sales tax. Fire Chief Bobby Wolfe said there would have to be clearly marked emergency exits.

Wolfe also said he would check into the potential risks or fire hazards that could be associated with a haunted house and contact the organizers.


General provisions for boards

The commissioners unanimously voted to modify parts of Municipal Code that provide rules governing boards, commissions, committees, councils and task forces. The newest changes in the ordinance that was approved apply specifically to the attendance of board members.

There have been, in the recent past, issues with board members failing to attend meetings without prior notice or warning.

Public Information Officer Andrew Lawson said the changes would leave the determination of what entails an excused absence up to the board chair. There are several boards that have bylaws that currently specify stricter absence policies than what was approved.

City Attorney Tamara Niles confirmed that attendance at special meetings will not be counted against any board member because they often are scheduled with little notice.


In other business, the commission:

  • witnessed Mayor Duane Oestmann proclaiming November as American Music Month in Arkansas City.
  • unanimously approved the consent agenda.
  • unanimously approved a recommendation of the Beautification and Tree Advisory Board to initiate an adoption contract for one year with the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Friends of the Burford for the city-owned parking lot at A Street and Central Avenue.
  • unanimously approved ordinances levying various special assessments for unpaid charges related to code enforcement activities, such as weed mowing and property maintenance violations.
  • unanimously approved a certificate of special assessment for dangerous structure demolitions.

Commissioner Dan Jurkovich was absent from the meeting.

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