Consider This - Jonesboro Municipal Issues

Last week we talked about impact of the Mall at Turtle Creek on Jonesboro , the growth the city is experiencing and the fact that there are many other challenges on the horizon.

Today we want to briefly address a few of those topics that we will delve into deeper in the coming months…

Consider This –

It is obvious the city needs a new municipal complex… the city has the funding in place right now and we support building a state of the art facility providing one stop shopping for government services for Jonesboro citizens. As Mayor Formon said recently, “I think we have to get away from buying old churches, buying old grocery stores, and trying to make things work  I think we need to build buildings that meet our actual need.”

We completely agree. It could take two to three years to plan and construct a new complex so let's get started now. The city should also move forward immediately with plans to construct a new animal control and public works facility on land adjacent to the Northeast Arkansas Humane Society. The current temporary arrangement for public works at the old Best building downtown may be an improvement over the old landfill site, but again, it means trying to retrofit a building that was not designed for that purpose.

The city has the money… let's get out of the fixer upper business and build two first class facilities.

Jonesboro needs to approve construction of a convention center and fire station. The growth in the city requires the fire station to keep the insurance rating as low as possible. The recent hospitality convention just reinforced the need for this project and there are many other state organizations that have local representatives who would push to bring their annual conventions to Jonesboro . It looks like a resolution will be put before the citizens in the near future and we encourage Jonesboro voters to approve this referendum. It is a positive addition for the city and this region. The assessment is projected to be paid off within 20 months… we think it will take less time than that… and the impact on the community due to this influx of visitors will continue for many, many years.

We support the move towards some form of ward voting… but there are many issues that have to be addressed before a plan can be implemented. We support a hybrid system where six aldermen are selected by ward and six are at large. Again, there are lots of details that need to be worked out to get to this format and we will keep you updated on the progress.

Again, we'll expand on these topics in the coming months and more information becomes available.

In the meantime, we want to hear from you. What else should we consider?

Share your thoughts on these topics and anything else that you feel needs to be addressed. We look forward to your feedback.

Viewer Comments:

Charles P. of Jonesboro writes:

I'd like to see KAIT address the way city council members are elected in Jonesboro. Other cities of Jonesboro's size have systems in place whereby those who run in a specific ward are elected only by those who reside in that ward instead of people from all over the community.
Minorities are at an extreme disadvantage in Jonesboro's current system.
It is time for KAIT to address the issue.

Anna S. of Jonesboro writes: 

 I am really concerned about the traffic in Jonesboro and how dangerous driving in and around our city has become. It seems that drivers completely disregard the speed limits on most roads in and around Jonesboro. The recent wreck on Southwest Drive involving a pregnant, Jonesboro school teacher, and her two sons, prompted me to write these concerns about traffic and speeding. I do admit that some of our "posted speed limits" are ancient and too slow. I agree driving 25 or 30 is unrealistic on most streets now days. However, I think our police department needs to update (make more realistic) the speed limits on local streets, make sure the speed limits are posted and visible on local streets and patrol the streets watching for drivers driving 55mph plus down streets such as Southwest Drive. There should not be a wreck of the severity, that Mrs. Moore and family were involved in, occur on a local 40mph street!
I'm sure the traffic in Jonesboro has increased due to all the growth in retail and new attractions being added here. That's a great problem, until it becomes deadly on our local streets! Everyone is in a hurry now days and most people are talking on their cell phones while driving, not paying attention. I would love to see you talk about how dangerous our local roads have become and what we should do about it on Consider This.

Jim L. of Jonesboro writes:

consider the fact that 5 people of whom do not live in the Jonesboro area are allowed to decide the number of resturants that serve liquar in our great city.  I ask the simple question WHY.  Why are we the people of Jonesboro and surounding area not allowed to decide what is best for our home.