Arkansas county hoping new position leads to opportunities - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansas county hoping new position leads to opportunities

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback 

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) "We've got to all be on the same page or we're not going to get anything done," said Lawrence County Judge, Dale Freeman.

Freeman says he is trying to jump start economic development countywide.

"I campaigned on this," said Freeman.

 Making good on a campaign promise, Freeman created a position and hired a grant writer.

He hopes the grant writer will find funds to help put Lawrence County on the map and in the sights of businesses and industries looking to locate.

"My goal is to pull everybody together and make sure we're working towards the same cause," said Freeman.

"We have not attracted but one small industry in the last 16 years to Walnut Ridge," said Walnut Ridge Mayor, Don House.

House hopes grant money will help them market the cities and county, and help them meet the needs of potential employers looking to set up shop.

"The grant money that we're looking at will be a stimulus to our county," said House.

Judge Freeman and Mayor House say the grant writer will be utilized by city and county officials, working together to increase economic development.

"When we do that, I think we're going to generate opportunities for ourselves that's not been there before," said House.

Judge Freeman serves on a state commission and says despite economic conditions, grant money is still given out.  He says it's the county and city leaders' responsibility to go after it.

"If you don't get it, somebody else is going to," said Freeman.

Lawrence County's grant writer starts the job on Monday.

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