Archive for Todd Gill

Frisco Trail section to close for concrete replacement

Photos: Todd Gill, Fayetteville Flyer

A damaged section of Frisco Trail will undergo repair work next week that will require trail users to take a detour around the construction area.

The 670-foot section of trail is located between Maple Street and Frisco Avenue. It’s part of the Razorback Greenway, a series of multi-use paths that stretch from south Fayetteville to Bella Vista.

Through the years that portion of the trail has degraded along the steep cut near the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad.

Matt Mihalevich, the city’s trails coordinator, said a geotechnical analysis determined that the subgrade below the trail had shifted causing large cracks on the trail surface. Mihalevich said crews have repaired the cracks several times, but a permanent solution is needed. The report recommended excavation of the existing trail down to the solid shale, followed by a re-build using new fill, base and concrete.

City officials in 2016 secured $56,000 in federal-aid funds for the estimated $70,000 project. City funds will come from the Trail Development Capital Improvement Program.

The work is expected to begin Tuesday, Feb. 20 and last through the end of the week.

For more information, call 479-575-8228.

More photos

Sonia Gutierrez to run for Fayetteville City Council in Ward 1

Sonia Gutierrez / Photo by Kat Wilson

Sonia Gutierrez will take another shot at a seat on the Fayetteville City Council.

The longtime resident, educator and civil rights advocate will challenge Kris Paxton for the Ward 1, Position 1 seat currently held by Adella Gray.

Councilwoman Gray, who was first elected in 2006 and is the council’s longest active member, will not seek a fourth term in November.

Gutierrez, 43, ran for the same seat in 2014 alongside Gray and Paul Phaneuf, but did not receive enough votes to advance to the runoff election.

She announced her campaign at the recent Women’s March on the steps of the Town Center building in downtown Fayetteville.

She said the recent national political climate led her to run again, and cited a need for more women in roles of leadership.

Gutierrez’ campaign website divides her platform into three categories to keep Fayetteville: financially fit, friendly and funky.

If elected, she said on her website she’ll push issues that attract businesses of all sizes, while also balancing support for local entrepreneurs. She said she’ll work from the top down to increase inclusivity for people of all ages, backgrounds, abilities, and income levels. She said while the city should encourage new development, it’s important to ensure anything new complements the surrounding character and maintains “the existing vibe.”

Ward 1 encompasses south and southeast Fayetteville, including the areas south of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Huntsville Road. Mount Sequoyah, Happy Hollow Elementary, and Ramay Junior High School are also included in Ward 1.

Gutierrez said she’s excited about the recent push for an arts and culture district in south Fayetteville.

“We know that a thriving arts district in turn will attract all business to the area to feed, house, and entertain all who work, visit, and live in the area,” she said.

Gutierrez spoke at a recent City Council meeting in support for an amendment to expand the upcoming College Avenue corridor study to include Archibald Yell Boulevard and South School Avenue to Cato Springs Road. Gutierrez said the plan could help address ways for residents to safely cross Archibald Yell, and could highlight the needs of the homeless and disabled individuals in the area. The amendment was unanimously approved earlier this month.

The filing period for City Council candidates begins Friday, July 27 and runs through noon Friday, Aug. 17.

Profile: Sonia Gutierrez

Position sought: Ward 1, Position 1
Age: 43
Residency: Fayetteville resident for 26 years
Employment: Founder, COO of New Design School; CEO of Atelier NDS
Education: Master of fine arts, Parsons School of Design; bachelor of arts in art and bachelor of science in microbiology, University of Arkansas


You said the Fayetteville Forward event was your biggest motivator in deciding to run in 2014. Is there anything in particular that made you want to run in 2018?

Honesty, the 2017 national political climate has been a major motivator. It is more important than ever for women to get involved and lead change. Also, I don’t give up easily.

How would you describe Ward 1 in 2018? Has it changed in the last four years? If so, how?

Ward 1 is a place of opportunity. One major change since 2104 is that it has been identified as an ideal location to develop an arts and culture district. This is incredibly exciting for new and existing businesses, artists and residents. All will be able to benefit from offering, accessing and participating in art events in their own neighborhood.

Are there any recent citywide or Ward 1 council decisions you agree or disagree with?

I am thrilled about Kessler Mountain Park. I agree with the council in that providing people with easy access to nature is a great way to preserve green space while inviting people to enjoy our natural environment.

More recently I agree with the update proposed by council member Sarah Marsh to the City Plan 2030 to include Archibald Yell, South School to Cato Springs. This unanimous decision by the council can help us address safe ways to cross Archibald Yell. The results could also highlight the needs of the homeless and disabled individuals who are on foot utilizing the services in the area. The updated plan is also laying the groundwork for a “Creative Corridor.” The idea would be to push innovative solutions for affordable housing, artist studio space, and services to help individuals transition from the street toward careers. In addition, the amendment can also work toward preserving our unique curb appeal through the repurposing of our existing buildings.

Walton grant could help fund 228-acre mountain bike park in Fayetteville


Fayetteville’s mountain biking infrastructure could soon get a serious shot in the arm.

City Council members next week will consider a proposal to accept a grant and loan from the Walton Family Foundation as part of a plan to acquire 228 acres in west Fayetteville for future development of a new single track trail system to serve the region’s growing mountain biking community, as well as local hikers and trail runners.

The property, known as Mountain Ranch, is adjacent to Interstate 49 between Wedington Drive and MLK Jr. Boulevard, and is owned by Centennial Bank. The land sits just a few miles north of the Kessler Mountain Regional Park and across I-49 from Markham Hill. There are currently no active uses on the land.

If approved, the city would enter a contract with Centennial Bank to purchase the property for $3,302,250. A 50-50 matching grant and interest-free investment loan from the Walton Family Foundation would pay for the purchase. As part of the agreement, the foundation would front the money for the entire purchase and the city would pay its half back to the foundation in equal installments of $275,187.50 for the next five years.

The city would also commit to maintenance of the property and any future trails on the land, as well as agree to amend the master trails plan to incorporate a future Razorback Greenway trail linkage to the site.

Devin Howland, the city’s director of economic vitality, the foundation has already funded a master plan for future trail development on the property that envisions a unique aspect that would set Fayetteville apart from other nearby cities with mountain bike trails.

If built as envisioned, the trails could be used not only for recreation, but also for programmed racing events.

“In the realm of mountain bike racing, it’s often difficult to develop a track which enables staging of volunteers, spectators and racers, all while giving them a view of the races,” Howland said. “The cleared top of the property make it an ideal location for a track of this type.”

Aside from economic development and recreation, the proposal packet notes that the purchase would have numerous environmental benefits, including preservation of over 200 acres of trees in the Illinois River Watershed and Hillside-Hilltop Overlay District. Also, Howland said, the proximity of the property to the Boys and Girls Club and Owl Creek School provides an opportunity to expand the “Bikes in Schools” program and host National Interscholastic Cycling Association events.

Ward 4 council member John La Tour said Tuesday he’s a little concerned about the agreement’s requirement that the property be preserved in perpetuity, but said the price could be too good to pass up.

“This is a sweet deal for the city of Fayetteville,” La Tour said.

Preliminary trail vision (enlarge)

Despite the area’s vast amount of bicycling infrastructure, city staff said there’s plenty of room for growth.

“Mountain biking has become a major tourism driver for Northwest Arkansas in recent years,” said Don Marr, the mayor’s chief of staff, in a letter of intent to purchase the land. “From Mount Kessler to Slaughter Pen in Bentonville, it’s inarguable that this growing sport has impacted not only the quality of life for Northwest Arkansas residents, but also the regional economy.”

Citing recent research commissioned by the Walton Family Foundation, the proposal states that Fayetteville’s bicycling participation rate “well exceeded” the United States benchmark of 29 percent, and is higher than the rate of the overall Northwest Arkansas region. Those findings, Howland said, also indicated that the availability of paved and natural surface trails have become a key factor that is considered when residents and skilled workers decide where to live.

The study, Howland said, found that 43 percent of NWA residents are willing to pay more each year to live close to bicycle facilities and 55 percent of skilled workers indicated a willingness to pay more for proximity to bicycling infrastructure. Regionally, half of the businesses surveyed said bicycle facilities had a positive impact on their business and that they received economic benefit due to cycling tourism.

The City Council will consider the proposal at the next regular meeting on Feb. 20 in room 219 of City Hall.

Expect lane closure on Garland Avenue for street tree replacement

A tree replacement project will require a lane closure on Garland Avenue between Melmar Drive and North Street for about 10 days.

City crews will work to replace several trees in the median along the roadway from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to Joey Smith, assistant transportation manager.

Smith said drivers can expect one lane to be closed in a single direction at a time.

The project is scheduled to begin Feb. 13 and last through Feb. 23.

For more information, call 479-575-8228.

Sidewalk work to close lane on Old Missouri Road in Fayetteville


Drivers in east Fayetteville should expect a lane closure for about a month on Old Missouri Road while crews work to complete a sidewalk construction project.

The work includes building a new 5-foot sidewalk along the west side of Old Missouri Road to connect the existing sidewalks that currently stop at Cinnamon Way and Honeysuckle Lane.

Lane closures will typically occur from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to Keith Shreve, assistant transportation manager. Shreve said crews may also work an occasional Saturday or for extended hours during the week if necessary. The project is expected to last through March 9.

Flaggers will be in place to direct traffic.

For more information about the project, call 479-575-8228.

2018 spring bulky waste cleanups scheduled in Fayetteville

File photo

The first of four spring bulky waste cleanup events is scheduled for next month at two locations in Fayetteville.

Crews will accept bulky items too large to fit into regular trash bins from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 at the Shaver Foods parking lot, 1367 S. Beechwood Ave., and at the city’s Recycling & Trash facility, 1560 S. Happy Hollow Road (see full schedule below).

Residents are asked to bring a copy of a recent water bill to verify Fayetteville residency.

There are limitations on what can be accepted at the cleanups:

Items allowed: Furniture, such as couches, chairs and mattresses; appliances and tools, such as refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, hot water heaters, lawnmowers and weedeaters; and renovation materials, such as carpet, padding, vinyl flooring, plumbing and lighting fixtures, drywall and paneling (limited amounts only – no contractors allowed).

Items not allowed: Household hazardous wastes, such as automotive fluids, batteries, cleaning chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, medical waste, tires, paint, thinners, solvents; household or commercial garbage; and yard waste, such as limbs, brush, leaves dirt, rocks and grass. One freon-bearing appliance will be accepted for free per household (additional freon-bearing appliances are $20 each to cover freon removal).

E-waste will be accepted at the Happy Hollow location during each of the cleanups. Acceptable items include computers, printers, copiers, phones, stereos, televisions, fax machines, electronic cable, paper shredders, microwaves, DVD & VCR players, video game consoles, satellite receivers and hand held devices like iPods, etc.

Household hazardous waste is accepted at the regional Boston Mountain Solid Waste locations. Fees may apply. Call 479-845-3005 for information and locations.

The full schedule of cleanup events scheduled for this spring is below. For more information about the bulky waste clean ups, contact the city’s Recycling and Trash Collection office at 479-575-8398.

2018 Spring Bulky Waste Cleanups

Date: Saturday, March 31, 2018
Time: 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Locations: Shaver Foods parking lot (behind Randall Tyson Track complex), 1367 S. Beechwood Ave.; and the Recycling & Trash facility, 1560 S. Happy Hollow Road

Date: Saturday, April 7, 2018
Time: 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Locations: Woodland Junior High School, 1 E. Poplar Street; and the Recycling & Trash facility, 1560 S. Happy Hollow Road

Date: Saturday, April 28, 2018
Time: 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Locations: Vandergriff Elementary, 2975 E. Township St. (enter off Mission Boulevard and exit out on Township Street); and the Recycling & Trash facility, 1560 S. Happy Hollow Road
More Info: The April 1 event includes free paper shredding from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Happy Hollow location.

Date: Saturday, May 5, 2018
Time: 7 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Locations: Owl Creek School, 375 N. Rupple Road; and the Recycling & Trash facility, 1560 S. Happy Hollow Road

Fayetteville public meetings: Feb. 12-16

Staff photo

The following is a list of public meetings obtained from the City of Fayetteville’s website, and through emails or press releases received from city staff.

For questions about any of the following meetings, call the city’s administration office at 479-575-8323.

Monday, Feb. 12, 2017

Time Meeting Location
5:30 p.m. Planning Commission ** (agenda) City Hall, Room 219
5:30 p.m. Energy Improvement District * City Hall, Room 326

Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2017

Time Meeting Location
4:30 p.m. City Council Agenda Session * (agenda) City Hall, Room 326
5:15 p.m. Equipment Committee * City Hall, Room 326
5:30 p.m. Water and Sewer Committee * (agenda) City Hall, Room 326

Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2017

Time Meeting Location
9 a.m. Technical Plat Review (agenda) City Hall, Room 326
4 p.m. Urban Forestry Advisory Board * City Hall, Room 111

Thursday, Feb. 15, 2017

Time Meeting Location
9 a.m. Subdivision Committee * (agenda) City Hall, Room 326
1 p.m. Keep Fayetteville Beautiful Board Meetings City Hall, Room 326
2 p.m. Airport Board Airport Conference Room
2 p.m. Bid Opening: Bid 18-21, Construction – Old Wire Road Protected
Bike Lane & Sidewalk Project (Ash to Gulley Park)
City Hall, Room 326

Friday, Feb. 16, 2017

Time Meeting Location
  No meetings listed  

* To be shown on the Fayetteville Government Channel
** To be televised live

Fayetteville hires firm to study trash and recycling rates

File photo

The cost for recycling and trash collection services in Fayetteville could soon change.

City Council members this week approved a $47,932 contract with MSW Consultants, LLC for the development of a rate study for the Recycling and Trash Collection Division.

City Finance Director Paul Becker said there has not been a comprehensive rate study conducted for recycling and trash services since 1993.

“To say it’s dated is doing it a disservice,” Becker told council members on Tuesday. “It’s long outdated.”

Becker said the study will establish rates needed to help implement the city’s new Solid Waste Reduction, Diversion and Recycling Master Plan that council members adopted last February. The study, he said, must take into consideration any capital improvements needed and any personnel required to fulfill the steps outlined in the new plan.

Becker said MSW has national experience and that he was impressed with their body of work.

According to the Florida-based consulting firm’s website, the company in 2017 completed a comprehensive solid waste system analysis for the city of Louisville, Kentucky, a statewide waste characterization for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and an economic analysis of waste plastics-to-oil sourcing in New York State for the New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

“I’m certainly confident they have the expertise,” Becker said, noting that the price tag for the study was also attractive. “To get this study done for roughly $50,000 with contingency is, believe me, quite a deal.”

Current Rates

Fayetteville currently utilizes a “Pay As You Throw” residential trash program. Residents have a choice of three sizes for their trash cart. Each cart size has a different rate. A 32-gallon cart costs $9.68 each month, a 64-gallon cart is $14.78 monthly, and a 96-gallon cart is $20.98 per month.

Residences may also use up to two free recycling bins.

Trash fees for apartments depend on whether the complex is on an individual or master water meter. Some landlords choose to include those fees in the tenant’s rent. The rate for apartment recycling services is 97 cents per unit.

Cow Paddy Run set for March 30 at Gulley Park

Courtesy photo

The 2018 Cow Paddy Run is set for Friday, March 30 at Gulley Park in Fayetteville.

The annual event, which includes a 5K race and a 1K Fun Run, is hosted by The Spark Foundation and supports health and fitness education in local schools while providing funds for the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation.

Local schools receive prize money for having the highest overall participation rate for students, families, teachers and alumni. This year both elementary and middle schools are eligible for cash prizes. The school with the most participation will receive $2,500, second place will get $1,000 and third place will receive $500.

In addition, the event also includes a t-shirt design contest and a costume contest.

The 1K Fun Run begins at 5:45 p.m. and registration is $20 per person. The 5K Race begins at 6 p.m. and costs $25 per person.

For more information, and to register, visit

Thirty Seconds to Mars added to AMP concert lineup

Thirty Seconds to Mars / Courtesy photo

Thirty Seconds to Mars will bring The Monolith Tour to the Walmart AMP this summer.

The show is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 8 with special guests Walk the Moon, K. Flay and Welshly Arms.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 16. Prices range from $29.50 to $104.50 plus fees.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the Walton Arts Center box office in Fayetteville, by calling 479-443-5600 or by visiting

From the WAC:

Formed in 1998, Thirty Seconds to Mars consists of frontman Jared Leto, his older brother, Shannon, and Tomo Milicevic. The band’s self-titled debut album in 2002 remains a cult favorite. Their Platinum-selling second album, A Beautiful Lie, in 2005 earned them worldwide success. This is War, their third album, was certified Gold in seven countries and Platinum in four countries. Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams was released in May 2013 to critical and commercial success. The band released their latest single, “Walk on Water,” in August 2017.

Leto recently announced the upcoming tour on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” The band’s fifth studio album will be available April 6.

Thirty Seconds To Mars – Walk On Water

Walk the Moon – One Foot

K. Flay – Blood in the Cut

Welshly Arms – Legendary