It might have been a graveyard smash, but — at least this year — Lakewood won’t have a Monster Mash.
The Crossett City Council voted Monday to accept Councilwoman Crystal Marshall’s proposal to cancel the Monster Mash in the Lakewood neighborhood.
Marshall told the council that she had read on social media that some of the residents of the area were unhappy with the Monster Mash block party proposal and that it would be better if the party was postponed for a year.
“If I could go back in time, I would have held a public hearing,” Marshall said.
Marshall said that the Monster Mash was intended to be a safe, organized way to trick or treat and enjoy fun activities in the Lakewood neighborhood on Halloween.
“We wanted people from the community to feel invited so we bought this huge banner and we paid to have fliers printed that were set to go out in the Eagle Folders at the Crossett School District,” Marshall said.
Marshall was on the committee Mayor Scott McCormick appointed to come up with a solution to resolve the safety complaints in the Lakewood neighborhood and still allow everyone to enjoy the holiday.
“The mayor appointed a committee based on the attendees that were here, and we worked directly with the police chief to come up with a solution,” Marshall said.
The plan that was presented to the council and approved during the September meeting was that on Halloween, Lakewood would be a walking-only zone during the hours of trick-or-treating. The neighborhood residents who needed to drive in and out during that time were asked to take a special route.
The plan also included a drop-off point on Petersburg Road near McMillan Law Office so that families didn’t have to cross the truck route. Marshall had planned for face painting booths, a petting zoo and other activities. The Crossett Fire Department was going to be onsite to hand out glow sticks provided by members of the committee.
Community member Howard Beaty spoke up and said that the only complaint he had heard was the concern that vehicles wouldn’t be allowed in.
Marshall explained that the walking-only zone was simply to prevent an accident and allow the children to roam the neighborhood freely.
McCormick opened the floor to members of the audience, and though no residents from Lakewood spoke, a concerned resident, Linda Herron, told the council that she has COPD and wouldn’t be able to walk the entire neighborhood. Herron said that her concern was people like herself and others with disabilities being left out because they couldn’t walk the neighborhood.
Marshall agreed that there needed to be some type of modification to ensure that everyone is included.
“See we are already talking and getting more and more ideas out there,” Marshall said.
The “Monster Mash” was tabled until next year and trick or treating will continue as usual.
Police Chief J.W. Cruce said that by city ordinance trick-or-treating ends at 8 p.m. and curfew is at the normal time of 10 p.m.
In other news:
Councilwoman Lynn Rodgers and Public Works Director Jeff Harrison presented to the council a proposal that the city purchase a burn curtain to dispose of leaves picked up by the city. The city currently has a pick-up service, free of charge, to Crossett residents.
The city has discussed the burden this service is to the city for over a year, and has collected data to try to find the best solution. The issue is not only picking up the leaves and maintain equipment to pick up such a high volume of leaves, but also disposing of them once they are picked up. The city council did not reach a decision on whether or not that should approve the purchase of a burn curtain. The burn curtain and all of the equipment to set it up and run it properly was going to be in the neighborhood of $200,000.
The city council heard from Sam Selig with Integrity regarding the city’s contract to make suggested electricity efficiency improvements that in the long run could save the city money.
Through Inetegrity’s programs, they analyze cities and school districts and install or complete necessary improvements that they guarantee will save the city or school in the long run. Selig told the council they try to be as accurate as possible when estimating savings because they are responsible for the money that the city doesn’t save, should they estimate it wrong.
The council did not approve the contract presented Monday night, but did request more information. Some of the council members voiced concern for committing to pay back a large amount to a debt service when they already felt like the city was stretched too thin.