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Fayetteville Residents On Both Sides Of Fence In Barbed Wire Debate

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FAYETTEVILLE — Some people who live in Fayetteville are tired of the city's high-crime image. They say barbed wire lining businesses gives an unwelcome impression to visitors, but many business owners say the issue is not so cut-and-dried.

As a council member, Bobby Hurst knows how important it is for the city to present a positive image. As a business owner though, he realizes his barbed wire is not pretty to look at, but it does makes a point.

"When you are a business owner and you have property inside a fenced-in area, you have to protect your stuff, and this is an excellent way to deter crime and theft," he says.

The city's appearance commission wants to limit the use of barbed and razor wire to the jail, farms and local industries. People who live in Fayetteville have complained that it not only looks bad, but also makes the city look dangerous.

"[With] the aesthetics of the city, it just doesn't look good," says Culous Hayes, Jr. of the city's appearance commission.

Larry Dudley of PrimeSource Building says it is the best crime-fighting tool money can buy. In the past, he has witnessed its success. There are still spots of blood on the barbed wire where people have tried to climb into his building supply yard, but never made it.

"Anything to make the city more beautiful, I'm for that, but an owner has a right to protect his property," he says. "We've got to protect our property or all the materials on the yard will just walk away."

Council members voted against a moratorium on wire fencing Monday, but the city will continue their study on how other places regulate barbed wire.