Jonesboro fights blight in north part of the city

Jonesboro fights blight in north part of the city

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro made a list of brownfield areas in north Jonesboro after people in the community voiced their desire to see some buildings removed.

The Environmental Protection Agency defines a brownfield area as a location that contains or may contain hazardous material on site.

Heather Clark, the Grants Administrator for Jonesboro, said she applied for an EPA grant that would develop a plan to safely demolish these buildings.

“So if we find out that we get the area wide planning grant, we'll actually be able to hire professionals who understand this way better than we do to help us come in and develop an actual plan to clean up each site and they will help us also to secure funding,” Clark said.

Many residents like Norma Ferrell said they were tired of the blight and are ready for something else. Ferrell said people are attending meetings and letting the city know where they need help.

“We had a meeting a couple of weeks ago and they were asking where they were needing [the city] at,” Ferrell said.  “There were several citizens that came out to voice their opinions.”

Clark said the people who live in the area are the driving force behind the inventory. They speak to the city and the city acts as a facilitator to the plan.

The end goal for the city is to revitalize these areas. Clark said the first step is the inventory so they can inform the EPA on what needs to be addressed. The next step is demolition of these buildings and then revitalization.

Ferrell said she would like to see more services replace these brownfield areas. She said services like banks, community centers and pharmacies would greatly benefit the people in north Jonesboro.

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