by Cassie Stafford
The Horseshoe Bend City Council held their regular monthly meeting on Monday, July 24 at 6 p.m.
Present were Aldermen Luther Yancey, Teresa Orrick, Joe Moser, Marty McKnight, Sonny Minze and Ron Yow. Absent were Aldermen John Grochowski and Tom Richardson.
Yow moved to approve the June Council minutes, seconded by Moser. Motion passed unanimously.
Yow moved to accept the June Treasurer’s Report, seconded by Moser. Motion passed unanimously.
Mayor Bob Barnes read a thank you letter from Governor Asa Hutchinson for approving his Resolution on Internet Sales Tax. Barnes then read a letter of resignation from Jack Tharp who served as an MRID Commissioner. Tharp is moving outside of Horseshoe Bend city limits.
The Committee Reports were given and there were no comments from the public.
Under New Business was the appointment of Mike Smith to the Airport Commission. Barnes entertained a motion to confirm the appointment. Yow so moved, seconded by Moser. The motion passed unanimously by roll call vote.
Yow moved to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Moser. The motion passed unanimously.
The next City Council meeting will be held on Monday, August 28 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.


The Municipal Recreation Improvement District, MRID, meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 9 with the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer.
Commissioners Present: Mac James, Jonathon Phillips, Jack Tharp and Michael Stracener.
Managers Present: Josh Jackson.
Jackson reported all spring pre-emergent and post-emergent has been applied to all areas of the golf course. The greens will undergo deep tine aerification during the middle of April. The drainage ditch on Hole 13 has been completed.
James reported for Chuck McNeight and recommended all memberships stay the same for the 2017 season. He recommended that the driving range memberships increase to $125 per person. Motion passed unanimously.
After asking the Commissioners if they had any changes to the November 11 MRID meeting minutes, there were none, James stated that those minutes are approved as written.
Tharp suggested changing vacation time in the employee handbook to read: one year one week vacation, three years two weeks vacation and seven years three weeks vacation. After much discussion the issue has been tabled until the next meeting.
James made a motion to approve a Boat Launch at Fishermen’s Park, if funds were available. After much discussion the motion has been tabled until the next meeting.
Phillips brought to the attention of the board that moving the forward tees up on some of the holes would be beneficial to many players. After some discussion no decision was made, but will be discussed further.
The Boating and Fishing Club gave their report and would like to be placed on the agenda at every MRID regular scheduled meeting.
Tharp moved to adjourn the meeting and Phillips seconded. All were in favor and the meeting adjourned at 7:18 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Josh Jackson
MRID Superintendent

by Karen Sherrell, Publisher
HORSESHOE BEND –Following the resignation of Municipal Recreation Improvement District (MRID) administrative assistant Nina Windsor, Commissioners have decided to hire an accounting firm and contracts have been agreed upon with two managers currently employed by MRID.
George Thomas Certified Public Accounting firm in Salem, will be handling all relevant accounting duties for MRID for a fee of $450 month, through December of next year.
Cost to MRID is $5,400 annually.
Contracts for employment were approved October 13, and went into effect November 1, with a contract extension through December 2021 to Chuck McNeight, Pro Shop Manager and PGA Golf Professional, and a contract with Josh Jackson, Golf Course Superintendent, through November 1, 2025.
McNeight’s annual salary is $49,750 for working an average of 40 hours per week, and he has the rights to the profits of concessions sold in the Pro Shop. Duties include Pro Shop management, PGA Pro, and other duties as MRID shall designate related to such. McNeight’s previous annual contract was for approximately $47,000, making an increase to his annual contract of $2,750.
Jackson’s annual salary is $37,000 and upon completion of the 2016 fiscal year, if the approved budgets for his departments are met, Jackson will receive a 4% salary increase for 2017, and a 4% salary increase for each additional year he is on or below budget. Jackson’s duties are Golf Course Superintendent and other duties as the MRID shall designate related to such. Jackson agrees to acquire Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America Class A certification when eligibility requirements are met. His previous annual salary was $33,500, making an increase to his annual salary of $3,500.
Windsor resigned in early September when her hours were cut to 22.5 hours per week. According to MRID she was making $10 per hour; which would have equalled an annual salary of $11,700 with the change in hours.
Several citizens complained about the manner in which Windsor was informed of her reduction in hours, with Windsor claiming she found out about her new hours when she read the August 13 meeting minutes she was preparing to type.

HORSESHOE BEND — Municipal Recreation Improvement District Commissioners received a letter of resignation from seven-year administrative assistant Nina Windsor on Friday, September 11.
Commissioners reduced Windsor’s hours during their August 13 evening meeting, and according to Windsor, failed to discuss the job change with her.
According to the August 13 MRID minutes, Terry Smith wished to discuss the hours of operation for the administrative position, advising the hours should be cut. Mac James made a motion to reduce the hours to 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., five days a week, seconded by Smith. The motion passed unanimously and went into effect September 1.
Windsor’s resignation reads in part:
“To: Commissioners Tom Doty, Steve Boyer, Jonathan Phillips, Terry Smith and McLee James.
The purpose of this communication is to provide you with official notice of my resignation from M.R.I.D. which is effective immediately. As you felt no need to inform me of your decision to reduce my hours, and my pay by half, thereby changing my employment status to part-time, I feel no need to give you any notice of my resignation.
“On Thursday, August 20, 2015, when Mac James came into my office to sign checks, he also left the minutes of your August 13, 2015 meeting for me to type. As I read them to correct spelling errors, punctuation, word usage and formatting, I discovered that Mac James made a motion to reduce my hours (and my pay) by one half. Terry Smith (a commissioner for less than six months) seconded, and they and Tom Doty voted to approve the motion. The other two commissioners, Steve Boyer and Jonathan Phillips, were not in attendance. This obviously changed my employment status to part-time and negatively affects my life in general. As of this date, none of you have formally told me anything. I can only assume that you meant for me to discover it on my own.”
Commissioner Terry Smith stated on Friday that Windsor’s duties only require the new hours set at the August 13 meeting.
To read Windsor’s full resignation, see the Sept. 16 edition of Pacesetting Times.

by Karen Sherrell
The Horseshoe Bend Theater located at the lower mall will be the site for a public meeting held by Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.
“AGFC has scheduled a public meeting concerning the proposed Crown Lake boat ramp at Fisherman’s Park for Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. at the Horseshoe Bend Theater,” wrote Jeremy Risley, District 2 Fisheries Supervisor, in an email dated Thursday, February 19.
Municipal Recreational Improvement District Commissioners voted 4-1 at their January 15 meeting, to pursue an agreement with AGFC to build a launch ramp at the park, along with vehicle and trailer parking, a boarding dock, ramp and portable toilet. The total project cost to AGFC is $112,000.
According to Risley, AGFC received 24 emails, five letters and two calls against the proposed launch, following the January meeting. They received ten emails in favor of the project. Over 150 people attended that meeting.
“We will be holding a public meeting to give everyone interested an opportunity to voice their opinion,” said Risley. “Representative Gray and Senator Collins-Smith have contacted us, so we would like to invite them to the public meeting also,” he added. The AGFC planned the meeting at a time that both state officials can attend, according to Risley.
Currently, Box Hound Marina offers the only launch ramp on Crown Lake, which is free to property owners. The AGFC and Box Hound Marina discussed a proposal to repair the marina launch and other specifics, but after months of discussion, could not come to an agreement.
At the January MRID meeting, former commissioner J. R. Wilson told audience members that AGFC had talked to the MRID while he was on the commission, and stated that if the marina and AGFC changed their minds on their agreement, the money goes away. “It’s between the state and Box Hound,” said Wilson. “MRID shouldn’t have anything to do with it. It (Fisherman’s Park) is an amenity. You’d be getting rid of an amenity, a park to a parking lot.”
Chairman of the MRID, Tom Doty, stated that AGFC had contacted MRID to see if they would like to place a public launch at Fisherman’s Park.
According to Doty, the proposed launch placement falls into the guidelines in place for encroachment on adjacent property owners. “There is a pie-shaped part at the park corner at the bottom of the curve that is MRID’s, part of Fisherman’s Park,” he said.
Property owner John Mosser is in favor of the free public launch. “This means more people in town, more money spent here,” said Mosser at the January meeting. “You cannot prevent change. You plan, accept and benefit from it.”
Those against the project cite the increase in vehicle and boat traffic, insufficient policing of the lake, possible increase in theft and noise, and a decline in lakefront property values. Those for the project look forward to an increase in commerce in the city with the availability of a free public boat launch.
Anyone wishing to voice their opinion on the proposed boat launch is invited to attend the March 24 public meeting at the Horseshoe Bend Theater, hosted by AGFC.

RampConcept
by Karen Sherrell
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has received numerous emails concerning the proposed free boat launch at Fisherman’s Park in Horseshoe Bend, and have decided to conduct a public meeting in the city in the near future.
According to Jeremy Risley, with AGFC in Mountain Home, they have received 24 emails, five letters and two calls against the proposed launch, following the January 15 meeting of the Municipal Recreation Improvement District (MRID).
Over 150 people attended that meeting in which MRID commissioners voted four-to-one to pursue an agreement with AGFC to build a launch ramp at the park, along with, vehicle and trailer parking, a boarding dock, ramp and portable toilet. The AGFC received ten emails in favor of the project.
“We will be holding a public meeting in the near future to give everyone interested an opportunity to voice their opinion,” said Risley. The AGFC Director and Commission will make the final decision on the project. “Representative Gray and Senator Collins-Smith have contacted us, so we would like to invite them to the public meeting also. We will try to plan the meeting on a date they can both attend,” stated Risley.
The AGFC will be issuing an announcement in the near future with details on the public meeting.
Opponents of the project cite the increase in vehicle and boat traffic, possible increase in theft and noise, and possible decrease in property values. Proponents look forward to more people coming to Horseshoe Bend, creating additional commerce for the city.

RampConcept
PROPOSED PUBLIC BOAT LAUNCH: The Municipal Recreation Improvement District (MRID) and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission are discussing a proposed public boat launch at Fisherman’s Park on Crown Lake in Horseshoe Bend. According to AGFC Regional Maintenance Contract Coordinator Mike Cantrell, the preliminary proposal will include vehicle and trailer parking, a boarding dock and launch ramp. If the proposal is approved, this will become public access to Crown Lake. Some residents have questioned the increase in vehicle and boat traffic, possible increase in theft and noise, and possible decrease in property value. According to Cantrell, a previous proposal with Box Hound Marina “is at an end pass, and done.” Box Hound Marina has recently resurfaced their boat launch which is free to use by property owners. MRID has included discussion of the proposed launch in their public meeting agenda for January 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the MRID building located atop Turkey Mountain.