TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texarkana, Ark. Board of Directors and Planning Commission members sat down Tuesday to hammer out some details concerning a proposed entertainment district downtown.
Concerns were raised by board member Terri Peavy, who said some constituents are telling her they’re concerned about the district’s extensive hours. The proposed hours are currently 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
“They didn’t want this to get out of control, they wanted for their voice to be heard also, with their concerns about the safety issues, and they didn’t want to have to go into restaurants through … an unruly crowd. And, maybe they just wanted to be reassured that we were going to try to get a better handle on this,” Peavy said.
A representative for downtown restaurant owners attended the workshop to show support for the proposed district. Main Street Executive Director Ina McDowell told the group that she had received recent inquiries from other businesses interested in locating downtown, and all wanted to know the status of the entertainment district.
Planning Commission member Clyde ‘Boots’ Thomas said the district’s hours were established to be compatible with downtown restaurants. “This is an evolutionary thing and it’s something that’s important and it’s something that needs to be done correctly. So, I mean, we need to put in due diligence and make it happen.”
Peavy also raised concerns about the possibility of excess trash littering downtown streets. In response to the concern, public works officials said they will make sure trash cans are placed outside of every restaurant and empty them daily.
The group also agreed to add a clause in the ordinance stating the rules governing the entertainment district will be reviewed in a year. “When we insert that paragraph that this will be revisited, the results of this, after the first year, that made me feel better about the very generous hours,” said Peavy.
The proposal now goes back to the Planning Commission for amendments.