City of Vienna planning new horse arena policy

By Colin Willard, Staff Writer
Posted 9/27/23

VIENNA — During the Sept. 11 City of Vienna meeting, city officials and employees discussed developing new policies for the horse arena at the Vienna City Park.

City Clerk Karen …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

City of Vienna planning new horse arena policy


VIENNA — During the Sept. 11 City of Vienna meeting, city officials and employees discussed developing new policies for the horse arena at the Vienna City Park.

City Clerk Karen Dudenhoeffer said there have been issues with the way people use the horse arena, so the arena is getting new locks.

Utilities employee Jim Sandbothe said people had cut and stolen locks from the arena.

South Ward Alderman Brenda Davis said she had heard complaints from people about someone leaving the lights on all night at the arena.

“People are using that arena and they’re not notifying us ahead of time that they are going to be using it,” she said.

Dudenhoeffer said one of the reasons for changing the locks is because there is no log of who has old keys to the arena. She said the city’s plan is to get new locks and keys. Once the city has those, it will require people to sign an agreement to get a key for the horse arena. The city already follows a similar practice for the use of the youth building. Access to the arena’s electric box will require a deposit.

The plan will need approval from the aldermen to enact it. Dudenhoeffer said before the plan reaches a vote, she will work with City Attorney Ross Bush to draft the language of the agreement.

Mayor Tim Schell asked if people pay to use the horse arena.

Dudenhoeffer said the only cost now is a $10 deposit for a key.

Sandbothe said complaints about the horse arena had gotten worse recently. In addition to calls about people leaving the lights on, concerned people have called about livestock left in the arena without water and shade.

“It’s not a livestock storage,” Schell said.

Brenda Davis said the city may want to consider charging rental fees like it does for the youth building.

“It’s definitely something we should discuss,” she said. “We should agenda that; a fee for use.”

Schell suggested putting a curfew on the use of the arena.

“I know people live right across the street,” he said. “They don’t want all that going on. They have to go to bed and go to work the next day.”

Later in the meeting, Brenda Davis said the Historical Society of Maries County (HSMC) had contacted her with concerns about the traffic on Sixth Street during the historical society’s annual craft and vendor show at the Knights of Columbus Hall. She recommended that the organization submit a letter requesting the city close the street during the show.

The HSMC submitted the letter. Brenda Davis said she was in favor of closing the street because the event seems to grow every year and closing the street could relieve a safety concern.

Sandbothe said people attending the craft show would need to have some access to Sixth Street because the only handicapped parking is available directly in front of the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Brenda Davis said the city could provide barricades to close the street and let the HSMC move them if someone needs access to the street.

The aldermen approved a motion to provide the barricades for closing the street and leave it up to the HSMC to ensure the barricades are placed. The craft and vendor show is on Nov. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The city also approved the Vienna Chamber of Commerce’s request to close Third Street, Fourth Street and Coffey Street around the courthouse from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Halloween for the annual Trunk or Treat event.

During a financial report, Dudenhoeffer said the city had not had any unusual expenditures this month, but next month’s financial statement might seem concerning at first.

Maries County sent the city an invoice for $15,000 for dispatching fees. The dispatching fee is $5,000 per year, but the city had not received bills for the last two years. Dudenhoeffer said that when she talked with the county about the bill, the person she spoke with said the county would try to send invoices in the future.

Also at the meeting, Brenda Davis asked about the plan to hire part-time help at City Hall.

At the regular August meeting, the aldermen approved a motion to post a listing for a part-time position for two weeks. When the September meeting arrived, the city had not yet posted for the position, but Dudenhoeffer said it was on the to-do list.

At a special meeting in August, the aldermen voted to approve tax rates for the city at 0.2475 cents per $100 assessed valuation for roads and bridges and 0.6506 cents per $100 assessed valuation for general revenue. Last year’s rates were 0.2353 cents and 0.6314 cents, respectively.

During the September meeting, the aldermen reviewed correspondence from resident May Honse. In her letter, she said she is a resident of Maries Manor. When her family comes to visit, they have to stay in either Rolla or Jefferson City because those are the closest hotels. She asked if Schell or the aldermen had considered bringing lodging to Vienna.

Brenda Davis said the issue with the proposal is that the city cannot open a motel, but the city could pass the suggestion along to the Chamber of Commerce. She said she agreed that it is difficult to have guests in a small town with no available motels. She also suggested sending a response and thanking Honse for expressing her concern.

The city held a hearing that same evening to allow the public to give opinions on a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant that could help the city buy a new police car. No members of the public gave comments during the hearing.

Police Chief Shannon Thompson said the hearing is a requirement under USDA guidelines. The grant process can move forward now that the city has held the hearing.