Neighbors of the NEA Fair still not happy with new location - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Neighbors of the NEA Fair still not happy with new location

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In January of 2011, a proposal to move the Northeast Arkansas District Fairgrounds out past the Farville Curve on Highway 49 was made. Now, the fairgrounds are in their new home and many are enjoying the upgraded, expansive area. However, not everyone is happy.

"We're just disappointed...it just goes back to broken promises and I just expected more," Peggy Laws, a Craighead County resident who now has the fairgrounds in her backyard said. She told Region 8 News she wished the fair board had taken a longer time to find a different location, one farther away from a residential neighborhood.

"I just believe there would've been better locations. I don't believe they would've had a problem at all if they'd just taken the time to find those locations," Laws said.

Laws and her husband moved to the outskirts of Jonesboro because they liked the idea of "rural city living". 

"We fought it as hard as we knew how to fight the situation," Laws said. But in the end, it didn't matter as the fairgrounds are now visible from her backyard.

She said she and other residents in the area have been left with broken promises. Her main concern is the sound coming from the fair, as she was told the amphitheater would project sound away from her neighborhood.

"We were astounded last night. We were at the neighbor's and she was trying to get her baby to sleep and her walls were literally vibrating with I guess the bass through the speakers," Laws said.

The only thing that separates the new 80 acre fairground is a thin brick wall. That brick wall doesn't keep the smell out of the neighborhood either.

"Especially in the hot seasons, I grew up on a farm and I know how that can be," Laws explained. "If they have other livestock showings then I really feel for my neighbors who live closer to the barn."

She says some of her neighbors have found a solution though...by moving.

"Seven or eight families that have sold and left, we've got maybe two or three empty houses," Laws told Region 8 News. "That's bad for property values."

Laws said she doesn't necessarily blame the fair board though.

"I think they really meant to do what they said they would do... I just think there are things that are sometimes beyond their control," she said.

Laws did tell Region 8 News that she's heard many positive things about the fair, including how much more room is available and how nice the new facilities are. She just wishes it wasn't in her backyard.

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