New City Council Member Appointed - Already Listening to Residents' Concerns

September 16, 2003 - posted at: 12:15am

Jonesboro, AR -- City council members unanimously voted to accept Judy Furr as the newest alderman. Furr takes the Ward 5, Position 2 seat left vacant by Paul Copeland.

"I've worked with them from the other side of the fence, and it's going to be interesting to see how easily I can make the transition, so if they're patient with me, I think we can get there," said Furr after the announcement.

Furr listened from the audience as councilman Alec Farmer asked engineers from the firm Carter-Burgess to explain study research that might solve flooding problems in a south Jonesboro subdivision. One home sits in a 10 year flood frequency area; meaning research shows the home is likely to flood at least every 10 years. Homes in the next 5 lots are likely to flood every 25 years.

An engineer commented, "Keep in mind that this area is out of a FEMA study flood area."

Preliminary findings show buying the worst lot from its' current owners and building a retention pond is the best option so far to solve flooding problems there.

Flooding on Charles Lang's land in Wood Springs Estates has gotten worse he said as more phases are developed by builders.

"There was a ditch there, 6 foot wide, 4 foot deep. We never had a problem," said Lang. There was a large pond. They cut the levee on the pond. They built a ditch in, laid the pipe in another 42 inches in diameter, built the property up adjoining me. It was a slough. It also held water, and now I suffer the brunt end of the water problem."

Phillip Crego, Jonesboro City Attorney, said, "Their building permits have been shut off based upon, in part, the drainage problems that you're talking about."

Building permits have been denied to developers until the drainage problems are corrected. The developers have sued the city to reverse that ruling.

Another issue raised at the meeting concerned an independent study about police officer and fire fighter pay and benefits. Crego and Farmer both agree that the report does not become public record until after research has been completed. They aren't sure when that might be.