January 18, 2005 – Posted at 5:58 p.m. CST
HARDY -- Where do you go if you have to go in Hardy, Arkansas? The mayor of the small town has locked the town's main public restroom, and local merchants say the situation stinks.
"Tourism is our main industry in Hardy, and it's that 12 months a year," said La Reva Wiles, business owner of the Hardy Café.
In a town filled with antique shops and old fashion cooking, it doesn't take long for the tourists to arrive.
"They usually won't go to just one store. Then they get hungry, and then they need to go to the bathroom," said Wiles.
But they can't go to the main public restrooms. Mayor Louie Seibert has closed them for the winter.
"They were never built to take the place of any business restroom," said Mayor Seibert, "its just really good common sense to avoid the freeze ups and the vandalism."
So the doors at the Hardy Cafe have been swinging. But merchants on the Main Street of Hardy aren't happy.
Bed and Breakfast Owner JaNoel Bess said, "Vandalism isn't something that's unique to winter. It is an embarrassment when folks who are trying to find a bathroom discover that they are locked."
So that means most folks will get in their cars and head down to McDonalds, and merchants say they are taking their profits with them.