Star City council votes to close portion of street

The Star City City Council on Monday unanimously approved an ordinance to close, or “abandon,” part of West Dallas Street between Cook and Pine streets.

The meeting on Monday also served as a public hearing about the proposal. Susan Knight was the only private citizen to attend the meeting but declined to make any comments about the proposal.

The council had discussed the matter since their May meeting at the request of Robert Smith Floyd, owner of Floyd’s Chipmill, which straddles West Dallas Street.

For safety reasons, Floyd wants to close the street from about where his hardware and auto parts store is, or about 450 feet west of N. Jefferson Street, to 145 feet before Cook Street, at which point West Dallas Street resumes.

“I’d say the biggest thing is the safety,” Councilman Kelley Goins said. “You got people walking through there (and) driving through there.”

Mayor Gene Yarbrough noted that the closure will stop vehicles but not pedestrians.

Economic Development Coordinator Dwayne Snyder said he was told that school buses were still going through the area.

“They won’t after this,” City Attorney Phillip Green said.

“We did not get one complaint,” Yarbrough said about the closure.

“It looks to me by closing it we’re going to have safety concerns took off of us and maintenance concerns took off of us,” Goins said.

Councilman C.B. Leonard said he was concerned that emergency vehicles going to Cook Street might be slowed down by having to take a more circuitous route.

“If you go through there it would take you longer than it would to go around,” said Goins, who is also a city volunteer firefighter.

“You can’t drive through there very fast,” agreed Councilman Pete Kiefhaber.

After Green read the ordinance, the council voted unanimously to approve it.

Snyder also said that city workers, along with the local Food Pantry and the Arkansas Food Bank, recently distributed a “truckload” of food to 617 needy people.

Councilman Eddie Beard asked if the recipients needed to meet income requirements.