May 25, 2011 Edition

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WR accepts airport grant,
raises age for fishing in park

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

At a special meeting on May 17, the Walnut Ridge City Council voted to buy a lawnmower for the park department, accepted a grant for the airport and made changes to the fishing policy at Stewart Park. They also voted in favor of a zoning variance requested by an area business.

The council voted in favor of a resolution approving a $78,723 Airport Improvement Grant through the Federal Aviation Administration. The 100 percent grant will be used for repairs to the apron and tarmac and to improve drainage at the airport.

Aldermen also granted a zoning variance that will allow Carlos Aguilar to build a 4,500-square-foot restaurant on Northwest Fourth Street where the old Hob Nob was located. Aguilar owns the property, which is classified as C3. The variance will allow construction up to the city property line.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission stocked Stewart Park's fishing pond with 600 catfish on May 20 in time for last Saturday's fishing derby for children.

"They will restock the pond in early June with another 600 catfish," Mayor Don House said.

The council adopted a resolution that changes the rules for future fishing in the park.

The age limit for fishing in the pond at Stewart Park was extended to include youth through age 15. Previously, the age limit was set at 12 and under. Individuals over 65 and those who need handicap access can also fish in the pond with a valid fishing license.

A daily limit of five fish has been set, and fishermen are encouraged to keep the fish they catch.

House said, "We recognize that junior high kids can't drive and do what older kids can, and we just felt allowing them to fish was one additional thing the city can do to accommodate them."

Council members also voted to purchase a Bad Boy lawnmower from Cox Implement Co. in Hoxie. With a city discount, the mower cost $7,499 plus tax and was paid for with money received from the recent sale of the city's helicopter. The mower was bought for the park department.

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