Letter to the Editor

Road work is overdue

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Editor’s Note: In addition to the author, this letter was signed by eight other Eureka Springs residents.

Open Letter to County Judge Sam Barr and County Road Foreman Jim Kelly:

Hello Sirs:

I’m writing as a 23-year resident of Mill Hollow, in Eureka Springs, to request that you grade “Spring Valley Road,”, in Harvey Estates Subdivision. By “grading,”we (the local residents that use this road daily) mean “grading” like it used to be done 10-plus years ago — back when you had a skilled operator who could cut ditches, move the material to the center of the road, crown the road, and pack it down to ensure it won’t wash out in the next downfall – without burying the culverts in the process.

Twenty years ago the Spring Valley Road was professionally graded once a year automatically, without anyone needing to call the county to remind them.

Ten years ago the Spring Valley Road was professionally graded within a week — if not the next day — of one resident needing to call.

Now , we call and call for months, we even organize and call together to get the idea through to you, but nothing or little happens. The lower part of the road hasn’t been graded in years, and what was done to the top of the road at the beginning of June was a great set-up for rapid road erosion — no ditches cut, no crown in the road, just moving the rocks around to level it out. Apparently a beginner’s work, since they didn’t even attempt the lower (and most used) part of the road. Cars get stuck on the hills in “the road” (more like “off road”). One prospective renter had to have her exhaust pipe replaced because it got crushed in the road. It took many months to find renters for the apartments here (which usually have a waiting list), since so many were turned away because they “couldn’t make it up the road.” This does not pass the “grade,” gentlemen.

What’s going on with the rapidly deteriorating service — or no service at all, regarding your county responsibilities, good officers?

I asked this question of Honorable Judge Barr in my last phone request, and the Judge replied, “Have you ever seen such rain as we’ve been having?”

Weather forecasters, meteorologists and scientists have been predicting “increasing severity and frequency in storm events” for well over 30 years (due to deforestation). Recently, we have had two “100 year floods” in Eureka Springs (2015). Citizens would imagine that the county leadership would take the time (in the ensuing years) to appropriate the needed funding for the necessary road equipment and labor training, as required to adjust for the obvious — and continuing — pattern.

Local residents have called you repeatedly, monthly and weekly since January; the results being poor or nothing. Surely, since it hasn’t hardly rained in a month and a half, you’d be getting caught up by now?

Imagining that the Honorable Sam Barr and Road Foreman Kelly are honestly desiring to serve county residents in the best way possible, and further imagining that they would strive to maintain the excellent service the county has delivered historically, we “Thank You in Advance!!” for your prompt repair and continued yearly maintenance of our road, by qualified personnel. (Way to go!)

I’ll be sending another “Letter to the Editor” in 30 days, to report to the citizens of this county your excellent response — or the obvious public need for better servants of the citizens to run for the next election.

Thank you for your attention, Honorable Sirs, and residents.


Eric Scheunemann

Eureka Springs