25 years of the blues
YES! Despite a record spring rainfall, the blues are ON at Harry E. Kelley Park!
The 25th annual Riverfront Bluesfest begins Thursday night, June 25th, with special performances in Alma. Then, the downtown Fort Smith stage lights up Friday night for a weekend of blues, show cars, and lots of fun. Check this page for ticket information and a full schedule.
Shape city government
If you have an interest in streets and drainage issues and how the city goes about prioritizing improvements, you may be an excellent fit for this new committee established recently by the Fort Smith Board of Directors. The group will be tasked with helping allocate a budget of approximately $18 million each year in street and drainage improvement projects. Deadline for applying is July 14.
Citizens from across Fort Smith are invited to the Ward 3 neighborhood meeting on July 16.. Mayor Sandy Sanders, members of the board of directors, and key city staff members will be in attendance. Short briefs on projects planned for the area or in various stages of completion will be followed by question and answer sessions between audience members and the city administrator and board members.
Join the food truck scene
Recently the Fort Smith Board of Directors adopted changes in regulations regarding mobile food vendors, in order to encourage entrepreneurship and a broader offering of culinary fare. The Fort Smith Planning Department is accepting applications from vendors. A staff member will be happy to help prospective vendors walk through three potential options. Read more.
Bottled water is a convenience. Sometimes, it’s a necessary component of remaining hydrated during the summer months of Arkansas and Oklahoma. However, drinking local water provides the biggest bang for our dollars. Our regional water supply is projected to last about 70 years. The two water supplies, and their respective water sheds, are rigorously tested. In fact, the city’s watershed management staff runs in excess of 4,500 tests each month to preserve water quality. More information about Fort Smith’s water supply is available as part of this news release. A complete report on how our water supply fared in 2014 is available here.
When Kara Bushkuhl took on the role of finance director for the City of Fort Smith in 1980, the position had seen thirteen different directors in an eleven year span. Bushkuhl made the commitment then to provide stability, consistency, and professional excellence in managing and reporting financial matters on behalf of the citizens of Fort Smith. She’s done just that, and announced in mid-June that she will be retiring in early October, on the 35th anniversary of her time with the City of Fort Smith. City administrator Ray Gosack and governmental finance officials from across Arkansas reflect on what Bushkuhl has meant to the City of Fort Smith, their profession, and to their careers.
July 4 previews
The mayor's annual Fourth of July extravaganza is coming. We'll be sharing more information next wee about the amazing musical line-up and activities planned for downtown Fort Smith, and in our parks. Most of these events are FREE.
A reminder that use of fireworks in Fort Smith city limits is prohibited. Please obey the law, and also be considerate of others. Each year, fireworks in populated communities causes injury – especially to children between the ages of 10 and 14 – and property damage. It’s also a source of stress to veterans diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorders.
The National Safety Council offers these tips for those planning to discharge fireworks outside city limits, and here’s an interactive safety quiz from the National Council on Fireworks Safety.