Eureka council eyes bags, fills planning positions

Friday, June 15, 2012

EUREKA SPRINGS -- The yellow bag issue was among the items of unfinished business that were addressed by the Eureka City Council on Monday night.

The bag system, which was instituted for recycling purposes, still has some issues that have yet to be resolved.

Research by Eureka Springs Alderman Lany Ballance has indicated that the smaller bags purchased from the city currently cost 35 cents each, while larger bags are 75 cents each. Ballance found that Walmart sells the same style of bags in the smaller size for 14 cents and the larger ones for 24 cents.

She said she is concerned people are not recycling because of the higher cost of the bags required to be purchased through the city.

"On May 14, we talked about putting this on the ballot at the next general election," Ballance said. "I am also researching biodegradable bags, which are made of corn starch. Plastic bags are not biodegradable, but these other bags do actually degrade over time. (The program) could be greener."

Alderman Karen Lindblad said she, too, has been approached by Eureka Springs residents about the bag issue.

"A couple of citizens called me about not using the city bags," Lindblad said. "People might not be recycling as much. They are throwing all the trash in their bags, and that's been a worry expressed to me from several people. We need to keep recycling."

Alderman Ken Pownall said that he would like to see the cost of the bags lowered if possible and gave an example of what could happen in the recycling process.

"If I have a half-full bag I have paid for and it's raining outside, I'm liable to put the rest of the trash in it," he explained. "I'd like see if we can get the cost of the bags down."

In other items decided by the council:

* Resolution 601, the Climate Action Plan, was adopted. It defines goals to reduce emission gases.

* A motion was proposed to change a section of the proposed Animal Drawn Vehicle ordinance; it will be discussed again at the next regular meeting.

* Melissa Greene was approved for the Planning Commission's position 5 and Deni Flaherty was approved for position 7.

* Susie Allen was approved for Position 4 of the Historic District Commission.

* The council set a 2012 mid-year budget review meeting for 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 27.

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