Walnut Ridge may see economic boost with expansion plan - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Walnut Ridge may see economic boost with expansion plan

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) -

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp is working to bring in new industries.

The Walnut Ridge City Council approved Snapp's request to annex 20 acres of land from College City to Walnut Ridge.

Snapp said the land was originally owned by Williams Baptist College.

“The City of Walnut Ridge had 17 acres that was given to them by the War Assets Act of 1950 as part of Industrial Park,” Snapp said. “They traded 17 acres in Industrial Park to Williams Baptist College and got these 20 acres.”

He said the previous administration at the time didn't negotiate the annexation despite the city owning the 20 acres.

Snapp said revenue from the land must be used to maintain it and parts of the Walnut Ridge Airport.

“The benefit to the City of Walnut Ridge is that we can do most of the work ourselves, plus jobs to the whole region,” said Snapp.

He said the land is a desirable location for incoming industries.

“Industrial Drive is built to handle the 18 wheeler traffic that the distribution centers would need to come in and bring material to take it out,” Snapp said. “We have a 10 inch water line on the property, a sewer, fire hydrants, a major gas line, internet and electrical power that joins onto the property. It's one of the least productive areas of farm ground the city of Walnut Ridge owns in the Industrial Park.”

Snapp said he wants to focus on marketing this area.

“We have one group that's interested in expanding a distribution area, possibly in Walnut Ridge and they've said this would be an ideal location for them,” Snapp said. “We'd have to come in and reroute the ditch.”

He said that work would make the land suitable for light industrial sites and distribution.

Snapp said city leaders throughout Lawrence County are working to bring more jobs to the area.

“Jobs lead to higher wages and higher wages are what we need in this area,” Snapp said.

He said with construction on nearby highways, it puts the area in a good place for business.

Copyright 2015 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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