Vienna City Council wants to keep horse arena at park, would like to see it used by the community

By Laura Schiermeier, Staff Writer
Posted 11/24/21

VIENNA — During discussion at the November Vienna City Council meeting, council members expressed their wish to see the horse arena used for its purpose. It is located on city land at the …

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Vienna City Council wants to keep horse arena at park, would like to see it used by the community

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VIENNA — During discussion at the November Vienna City Council meeting, council members expressed their wish to see the horse arena used for its purpose. It is located on city land at the Vienna City Park and rarely has horse-related activity taking place there.

Mayor Tyler “TC” James told the council members he spoke to Judge Kerry Rowden who is interested in buying the horse arena. Rowden raises and works with roping horses and thinks the city’s arena is a good practice site. Rowden wants to put some money into it and would like to buy the arena or lease it from the city.

Mayor James said the last time he brought up the horse arena not being used and to make it a ball field instead, there was resistance to it because the arena was built with local donations. But, the arena was not used very much and at that time, Mayor James thought an additional ball field would be more benefit to the community than an empty horse arena. 

Utilities Superintendent Shon Westart said the land where the horse arena sits was donated to the city as part of the park. He said it is used by the city as there is an area behind the arena where the city dumps spoils. Westart said the saddle club built the arena and the fair board had half of the arena so they did a land swap and the city built the restrooms at the Motor Sports Complex on fair board land. Westart said the council can do what it wants but he doesn’t think they should sell it. 

North Ward Alderwoman Rita Juergens said if the city sells it, it would not have control of how it is maintained and its right next to the park. Westart said the city maintains it now. 

South Ward Alderwoman Brenda Davis said “I would like to see it used.” Vienna pays liability insurance on it and maintains it. She’d like for them to figure out a way for it to be used. 

Westart said people who want to use it can get a key from the city and use it. They can put together a written plan for its use but the city will still own it. He said the land was donated and the arena was built by fundraising in the Vienna community. Davis said they should let the community know it can be used. 

Mayor James said it is set up for roping, and if it's right, people will pay to practice there and they can collect fees. Westart said with a plan it can be done. 

Davis said she’d like to see a rodeo held there. James said there is not enough parking space with the trailers. The hill and the derby pit would be a better place with plenty of room for parking. Also, because it is fair board land they are set up with liquor licenses. 

About the horse arena, Juergens said it is city land and “I hate to see the city lose it.”

In other business at the November meeting:

—It was reported effective Dec. 1, 2021, the city’s trash rate per customer will increase by 53 cents a month, from $14.71 to $15.24 by Republic Services, Jefferson City. 

—The Vienna Chamber of Commerce, represented by board secretary Kelly Barnhart, has requested using the streets on the courthouse square for the Christmas Around the Square event from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 27. The chamber plans to have vendors, crafts, and entertainment. Davis said they can lease the chamber the streets around the square for $1. They discussed whether vendors need a business license. Davis said when she has participated in private events such as the vendor show at the KC Hall, she didn’t need a business license. The council agreed. 

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