People who want something in the City of Conway to carry their names, or the names of someone they want to honor for perpetuity may soon be able to do it as long as they’ve got cash.
At a Conway City Council workshop meeting Monday night, council considered naming the new, almost ready to open, inclusive playground the Lady Bug Park. That is the nickname a Conwayite has for his daughter and, through Conway Cares, he gave $100,000 to the park fund.
The name won’t be official until, and if the full council approves it.
Located at the Conway Recreation Center near the picnic shelter, the first phase of the park is almost ready and City Administrator Adam Emrick said they’ll be planning a grand opening for it soon, and they’re already talking about Phase II.
Talking about a name for the park led council, at the urging of Conway’s Parks, Recreation & Tourism director Ashley Smith, into a discussion about naming opportunities for the city.
Smith pointed out that Conway has been open to putting people’s names on properties and other things for some time. He pointed to the Billy Gardner Recreation Center, Collins Park and Sherwood Park and names of baseball teams that are typically business sponsors.
For the sake of consistency, Smith wants to come up with a concrete plan and list of exactly what a person gets in exchange for different levels of donations.
He says his department’s budget is great and they can do a lot with it, but they can do more.
Supporters of naming properties say it gives an area an identity and will save money.
Smith says not just properties, but things within the areas all the way down to benches can carry names.
Councilman Larry White took that even further saying even some kind of medallion could bear a name. He says naming rights should go to whoever comes in first with the required amount of money.
Conway Mayor Barbara Blain-Bellamy said it’s possible that people might want to name things in honor of someone, or as a tribute to an anniversary or a person’s memory.
White wondered when someone would say they’ve named enough things in the city, but the Mayor says they can reserve the right to say, “We think that’s enough.”
Councilman William Goldfinch said he doesn’t want to sell everything and pointed specifically to the new city hall that council is planning.
Smith will come back with a suggested list of possibilities for naming rights and the costs of each.
Watch your language
A Conway City Council committee agreed with Conway Police Chief Dale Long Monday night that the city’s law regarding obscene talk and profanity needed upgrading.
Long said the current law, 9-3-3, Section A applies only to women, children and young males.
He and City Administrator Adam Emrick agreed that those three categories should be eliminated from the law making it apply to everyone.
“With social media, we need to protect everyone,” Emrick said.
The ordinance reads, “It shall be unlawful anonymously to write, telephone, print, or by any other manner or means whatsoever communicate, send or deliver to any woman or woman child within the city an obscene, profane, indecent, vulgar, suggestive or immoral message. It shall be unlawful for any person to send any message to any male child under the age of 15 years within the city.”
The next section says it doesn’t matter if the message comes from inside or outside of the city.
The fine is $500.
The City of Conway is looking for ideas about what should be built in the old Jerry Cox parking lot beside the Ocean Fish Market.
A previous developer had gathered a group to build a hotel there, but his plan died with him before the building got underway. Since then the city has bought the property with hopes of putting something there that will draw more people downtown, and recently put out a request for qualifications asking for someone to work together with the city on a project.
City Administrator Adam Emrick said he’d like to see a building with apartments or condominiums upstairs and businesses downstairs. Deadline to apply is Nov. 1.