Jackson Co. justices approve application request for women's shelter

Jackson Co. justices approve application request for women's shelter

NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - The Jackson County Quorum Court voted Thursday to support a plan to renovate the former county jail in Newport into a women's shelter.

Jackson County Judge Jeff Phillips said justices approved a resolution to authorize the White River Planning and Development District to apply for Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program funding for the project. Phillips said officials anticipate applying for a $230,000 grant to fund the project.

The program is administered through the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and is used to fund community development block grants for cities and counties for community and economic development projects.

Earlier this week, officials with the White River Women's Shelter told Region 8 News that having the facility would be beneficial to the group's goals.

"I've noticed the facilities we have are a little dilapidated," executive director Bridget Hendrix said. "They need some work to the point where you can't empty it out to do the renovations because it will take too long."

According to the resolution,  at least two public hearings on the issue needs to be had, and officials must put together a citizen participation plan to gauge comments and support for the project. 

Phillips said that while a time frame on a decision is not known, officials may know something sometime this summer.

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