Council approves ban on confetti

A common item will no longer be a part of the many parades throughout the year in Eureka Springs.

At its regular meeting on Monday, April 8, the city council unanimously voted to ban all types of confetti during parades.

Council member Harry Meyer brought up the issue, originally focusing on plastic confetti that he said makes its way to streams in the city.

“Paper confetti at least dissolves some, but there was a lot of plastic confetti tossed during the Mardi Gras parade and they made a mess,” Meyer said. “… That’s micro-plastics and it goes into streams and get in the fish. Not a good idea.”

Public works director Simon Wiley told council members that while the city’s street sweeper is currently out of service, ordinances in place call for streets to be swept the day after a parade takes place.

“With the help of the police chief we pulled some data from other municipalities that have done kind of the same thing,” Wiley said. “The ordinance is the next day they will sweep up the candy and whatever else after the parade. Confetti is so light that it is blown away by the time we get to it. So, it’s already down in the streams, into the woods. It’s not in the street anymore.

“So, I fully support this. I don’t know if I’d say plastic confetti but confetti in general, period, and get rid of paper confetti, too, because it’s pretty bad.”

Meyer then opted for a motion that will include all types of confetti.

“I call it a moat in front of my house,” council member David Avanzino said. “After every parade it’s inevitable. I see candy in the moat, I see beads, I see all kind of stuff in the moat. And I have no idea how it got there.”

Bigger items such as candy aren’t the issue, Wiley said.

“I don’t know if I’d ban stuffed animals and stuff like that like candy,” Wiley said. “The kids love the candy. I love the candy. … The confetti is definitely our biggest issue. …” After the council approved the confetti ban, Mayor Butch Berry told council members that he will talk to police chief Billy Floyd about enforcing the ban.

“If I find we need an ordinance I will bring one to the table and talk to the police chief to see how he wants to enforce the banning of confetti,” Berry said. “We may need an ordinance just to make it enforceable.”


For at least the next four months, residents in the city can place two bags of trash out for pickup without the need of a bag tag.

The city’s trash bag ordinance was back in discussion after council member Autumn Slane said she’s fielded many calls from residents who are unhappy with the onebag ordinance recently adopted.

“For the majority of people one bag is just simply not enough,” Slane said. “A family of four produces more trash than a 35-gallon bin, but I think the larger problem is, perhaps our residents don’t understand the trash facility and really what they can offer because 90 percent of the people didn’t know they could get a cart.

“It would negate the issue at hand because they could get a cart, but they don’t even know that’s even an option.”

George Boatright with the Carroll County Solid Waste Authority reminded council members that different sized carts are available for a monthly fee, but said it could still be cheaper for residents to purchase the $2 bag tags for any bags in addition to the weekly limit.

The purpose of the changes to the longtime ordinance earlier this year was to eliminate the need for the mandatory yellow bags and to encourage residents to recycle more items, something that Boatright said will work.

“Going with the one or two bag, whatever you decide, I believe would push more to recycle,” Boatright said. “Eureka Springs, this side of the river, is where we get 85 percent of our recycling from. I really believe that and I hate to just send carts out and while we would make more money on the carts, we’d lose on the recycling end of it.”

While information on the trash bag ordinance and recycling is on the city website and printed on the monthly water bills, Slane said it’s important for residents to be more informed about their options.

“The yellow bags were not a perfect situation and this is not going to be either,” council member Terry McClung said, adding that he encourages residents to spend the one-time amount for a 35-gallon trash can and squeeze as many bags as possible each week.

“Whether you put [trash] in the bags, they’ll take it even if it’s not in the bags,” McClung said.

The council eventually voted to approve the amendment to the ordinance to increase the limit of bags placed directly street-side to two with a 120-day sunset clause. When that expires, the original one-bag policy will go back into effect and the issue will be revisited by the council.


The council discussed ongoing plans to clean up tires that have been tossed on the hillside behind Equity Bank on Van Buren Avenue.

“We cannot pull them out of the hallow until there’s an approved EPA waste container to put them in,” Meyer said, “So, Carroll County Waste is looking for the containers. They think they’ve got some on the line according to what [city code enforcement officer] Jacob [Coburn] told me.”

When everything gets in place to remove and store the tires within regulations a team of volunteers headed up by parks director Sam Dudley and Coburn will work to help remove the discarded tires, some of which have been washed down toward Black Bass Lake, Berry said.

“… The ball’s kind of rolling a little bit and that’s why I wanted to let the public know that we’re trying to keep from having a tire fire,” Meyer said. “We have volunteers and businesses willing to go work with us.”

In other approvals, the council approved three upcoming temporary entertainment districts.

A district for an Ozark Rally event at Pine Mountain Village will take place from Thursday, June 20, to Sunday, June 23.

Other entertainment district approvals were for Jeep Jam at Pine Mountain Village from Sept. 12 to Sept. 15 and for Bikes, Blues and BBQ from Sept. 18 to Sept. 21.

The council also approved a bid of $176,364 from Barrows Excavation for repairs on Lindsey Street.

Recent rains have caused deterioration to sections of the road, Wiley told council members.

“This will be paid with $100,000 coming out of our street fund,” he said. “… Then the remainder will come out of street maintenance.”

In an update on water leaks around the city, Wiley also told council members that the city is currently at a 40 percent loss, showing major improvements with the repairs of many issues.

“We’re making huge strides as far as that goes,” he said, adding that that’s the lowest percentage of loss in the city since at least 2020.

“So, 40 percent is like monumental for us because we’ve been sitting consistently at 55, 60 percent,” Wiley said. “… Our dreams are to go to zero, but I don’t know if that ever happened.”