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story.lead_photo.caption Texarkana, Texas, City Hall, 220 Texas Blvd., is shown in December 2015. Photo by Gazette Staff

TEXARKANA, Texas — During a meeting Monday, the City Council will hear a first briefing on a proposed ordinance to create a downtown entertainment district where open containers of alcohol would be allowed outdoors, matching such a district created in Texarkana, Arkansas, in 2019.

The intent is "to mirror the Texarkana, Arkansas entertainment district and create a seamless entertainment district for downtown Texarkana, USA," according to a summary published with the meeting's agenda. "This ordinance builds on the momentum of the businesses already established in downtown Texarkana and invites more development and investment in our downtown district."

The district would, for the most part, coincide with the downtown Arts and Historic District and include the Perot Theatre, Texarkana Regional Arts Center, the Art Park, the Kress Gap, the Ace of Clubs House, Pecan Point and Silvermoon on Broad, but not the Bi-State Justice Building.

The ordinance prohibits the use of glass containers for any liquid on public streets, sidewalks, or alleys, and does not conflict with already existing ordinances pertaining to noise.

"This ordinance, if passed, does not conflict with Texas Penal Code 42.01, nor the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code and the prohibition against possessing an open container in a passenger area of a motor vehicle under Texas Penal Code 49.031.

"The ordinance, if passed, also does not conflict with the need for businesses to obtain the proper permits from TABC and does not relax the statute which currently govern those locations that are authorized to sell to go and under what conditions they may sell to go," the summary states.

If the ordinance is approved, city staff will evaluate the need for additional waste receptacles and garbage collection.

 

Other business

The Council will also conduct a public hearing and vote whether to approve the Texarkana Symphony Orchestra taking over management of the Perot Theatre.

The proposed contract is for $272,207 for three years with three one-year renewal options. A citizen advisory committee
recommended TSO after evaluating its proposal and those of two other organizations, the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Council and VenuWorks, an entertainment venue management company.

After an executive session, the Council will vote on approving an employment contract for David Orr, whom it voted to name interim city manager at its last meeting.

The Council will also hear first briefings on a number of rezoning and permitting requests, as well as applications for grants from the Texas Department of Transportation.

The agenda includes an open forum during which members of the public may address the Council on any topic for up to five minutes each.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 220 Texas Blvd. A live video stream will be available through the city's website.

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