City's acceptance of road donation could be contingent on shared cost

City of Jonesboro Considers Adopting Road at Old Fairgrounds
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The city of Jonesboro is considering accepting the donation of a private road from the old fairgrounds.

Richard Ramsay, who serves as the distribution agent in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case of the Craighead County Fair Association, made the proposal two weeks ago.

Ramsay told the council that the sale of Lot 7 of the old fairgrounds was contingent upon the road not being part of the sale.

Tuesday night an ordinance was walked onto the Jonesboro City Council to consider the stretch of road that, if accepted, could be brought up to city standards at the city's discretion. However, the ordinance was held to one reading.

Engineers with the city of Jonesboro calculated the cost of bringing the entire road from Red Wolf Boulevard to Fair Park Boulevard up to city standards would cost approximately $223,500.

Though Ramsay hoped to have an answer at the council meeting, it will have to wait.

"I know time is of essence, Mr. Ramsay," Mayor Harold Perrin said. "This has been a case that we've not really had before because we've always turned it down."

Due to certain circumstances though, it is something the city is considering.

Perrin said the need for the road as an arterial from Red Wolf Boulevard to Fair Park Boulevard, along with the bankruptcy case, make the road worth having.

"What I want to do is contact some of the owners next to that, particularly Centennial Bank and others to see if they will share in that cost," Perrin said.

The mayor said once he hears back from those businesses, he will get in touch with Ramsay.

Ramsay responded with what he said was not a threat, simply a possibility.

"If the city does not accept this donation, there's a distinct possibility that this road would and could be closed," Ramsay said. "If the city does not want this little section of road, that's fine. I'm going to sell the property. I've been charged with that responsibility."

Ramsay stated that if the city doesn't act soon, they may not get the road free of charge.

"If the city does want the road and wants the road to stay open, I'm here tonight trying to give it to you at no cost," Ramsay said. "Down the road, if someone chooses to close it, or not use it, or use it for other purposes, it would be incumbent upon the city to have to purchase that, either through eminent domain or a condemnation proceeding."

Ramsay said he may be able to petition the bankruptcy court and request an extension.

Perrin stated he would contact Ramsay with an update on whether businesses in that area would be willing to chip in on the cost of the project.

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