Construction Resumes Thanks to FEMA Audit

July 7, 2006 -- Posted at 6:29 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Jonesboro officials have received some good news from FEMA.

An audit of city records originally scheduled for July 19th has been moved up to July 5th and 6th.

As K8 News reported Thursday night, FEMA representative Linda Delamar said the city is doing its job correctly.  The blame for the failure to deliver proper documentation falls on the engineer working on the project.

"Her preliminary findings were that some documents that should have been filed were not. She is preparing a final report that we hope to get next week," said City Public Works Director Claude Martin.

The issuance of building permits was halted on June 29th until the problem arising from missing paperwork was solved.

After Thursday night's visit from Delamar, the building permits are back on and construction can resume in the city.  Meaning the site at the center of this controversy, the new Kohl's department store, will open on time.

"The developer has agreed to do whatever he needs to do to make sure things happen.  He was kind of left out of the loop as well, so I believe we can move forward on this and get Kohl's open," said Mayor Doug Formon.

City officials say they believe the new Kohl's store will need to have a detention pond like the one located at the Sam's store on Caraway Road in Jonesboro.  They say having a detention pond would help solve the problem of being in a flood plain.

"We asked that the water be detained in an area and released at a rate slow enough that it won't increase the overall flow downstream," said Martin.

As to what will happen next, Mayor Formon says once they get the final report this should be over, but most importantly, they know what they've done it right.

"Evidently we were right, because she vindicated what needed to be done.  We weren't out to punish or disrupt any development or anything," said Martin.

Paperwork from the Kohl's project will have to be submitted to the city and to FEMA.

Also, paperwork from the Mall at Turtle Creek has yet to be submitted.  It's expected to  happen sometime soon.