Arkansan city hall moves to new building, looks to future - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Arkansan city hall moves to new building, looks to future

By Josh Harvison - bio | email

HARRISBURG, AR (KAIT) – First term Mayor Randy Mills said he's excited about the future of Harrisburg and Poinsett County. Mills said the city purchased a building located at 200 East Jackson Street for expansion and economic development in mid-November, a move completed last week.

"We want to be more proactive in our approach to promoting Harrisburg so we decided this is where we needed to be," said Mills.

Mills said the city purchased the building for $125,000 and began moving into it about a month later. City hall used to be located at 202 North East Street, adjacent from the Poinsett County Courthouse.

"The courts going on and city business, so much of the time, you didn't have enough room to do what you needed to do," said Mills, who spent 15 years on the Harrisburg City Council before being elected mayor last year. "The old building, it housed the mayor and treasurer obviously but it also housed the police department and the municipal court. Now then that building will be our municipal building will house the courts and the police department."

According to Mills, local officials have not done enough to spur economic growth, and he believes cities in Poinsett County and outside need to work together to attract industry and job opportunities. He said the renovation of city hall is one small step toward that goal.

"It's been here. it was an old post office and an attorney bought the building and the post office moved to their new building, so then he refurbished it, redid the inside of it," said Mills. "We could see a need that Harrisburg was stagnant. It wasn't growing. As a matter of fact we lost. We had two factories here 15 years ago and we didn't have any factories at the start of last year."

Mills also discussed Rusken Manufacturing, which opened its doors last year. Before Rusken came to Harrisburg, the city offered a $75,000 incentive package for the company to utilize the old American Greetings plant on Highway 1.

"The economy was holding us back to some extent in that area," said Mills. "We want businesses to see that we're in this for all of us. We want them to grow as much as we want to grow."

The new building also gives the Harrisburg Area Chamber of Commerce a location to grow. A large section of the building has been dedicated to their operation.

"Hopefully people will see that it's a new day in Harrisburg. Hopefully people will realize that we want to grow. We're going to help people do what we can," said Mills. "I really believe that Harrisburg is going to take off. I really do. We have waited for so many years and it's been said that Jonesboro will grow to us. Why don't' we help by growing to Jonesboro."

"Harrisburg has so much to offer and there are so many people within the community that have a lot to offer but we haven't been able to bring all that energy together so we're super excited about it," said Mauria Morgan, Membership Development Director for the chamber.

Morgan has also been working to set up the newly renovated web-site. To go to the site, click here.

"Our plan is to make our web-site the center point for anybody who is interested in becoming a part of the Harrisburg community," said Morgan. "They can advertise their business by banner ads. There will be message boards so members can interact."

"We've always had a chamber of commerce and we've always had a lot of great ideas about what we need to be doing, but this is actually the first year that we've been able to pull these ideas together and make something happen," said Morgan.

"People in the chamber and myself, we've sat down and we decided that Harrisburg will go in a new direction. We want to be proactive in our approach to luring industry," said Mills.

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