City Council Members Tour Available Buildings

June 13, 2006 -- Posted at 4:51 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro City Council members spent Tuesday morning touring two sites in west Jonesboro, looking for the right fit for a home for the streets and sanitation departments.

"They wanted to come out and have a first hand look at each of the facilities, The Best Building and the Meadows property, and kind of compare the two," said Jonesboro Mayor Doug Formon.

The city has been leasing the Best Building for the past year. Now, it is trying to find a more permanent home.

"One has a very large building and one has multiple buildings on a large piece of ground, so, this way they can kind of tell exactly what was here and what improvements need to be made to each site to make it work for us," said Formon.

The tour gave the city council members a vantage point that's slightly different from what they're used to.

"This gives them the opportunity to actually walk into the spaces, to actually see which facilities are salvageable, and which facilities need improvement," said Otis Spriggs, Planning Director for the City of Jonesboro.

One problem that the group is having is finding adequate space to house everything the city needs to store inside.

"It will give the city council enough information to make an assertive decision for the best fit for these facilities," said Spriggs.

"If you're going to buy a piece of property, that's going to cost under $1,000,000 for both sites. They're going to want to come and see it first hand before they vote on it," said Formon.

All but three council members made it out for the tour, and those who did say they think this is a good step towards the future.

"The one thing I would like to see us do is have a direction. I think we have to, instead of buying up old buildings, which oddly enough we're looking at existing facilities here, but, instead of buying up things just because they happen to be cheap, we need a long range plan," said Council Woman, Judy Furr.

Now that members of the council have visited the properties, they will go back and discuss what they've seen before casting their votes.