City Council Approves Long-term Plan

October 24, 2006-- Posted at 10:30 pm

JONESBORO-- A special city council meeting was called today to formally adopt a five year capital improvement project list for the city.

The city council is trying to conquer several challenges in terms of drainage, transportation and the construction of a new fire station.

This plan is one the council says will help them stay on target with the budget and prioritize city needs.

The council passed a resolution for the preliminary capital improvement plan that has been in the works for over 4 years.

As the plan points out, there's an estimated cost of $58 million for city projects and a revenue of $42 million.

Thus, the council would like to establish priorities and allocate funds before the 2007 budget process.

"You don't even build a house without a plan. I don't see how you can build a city without a plan," Alec Farmer of the Jonesboro City Council says.

The priorities include the city's drainage project, transportation and the sanitation department's landfill closing... All million dollar projects.

The drainage projects have been issues in the city for some time, and are currently in the design stages with a price tag of an estimated $9 million...

"We don't want to Band-Aid it. We want to fix it permanently. The projects we've got lined out and the approach we've taken is going to be very successful and we'll get the most for the tax payers dollar," John Street of the Jonesboro City Council says.

Much needed funds are also allocated to transportation projects to prevent congestion and make for safer driving conditions with numerous road and bridge improvements.

A study was performed to evaluate Jonesboro's current transportation needs.

"That makes recommendations for interim traffic relief rather it be signalization, coordination, dedicated right turn lanes, expansion of existing roads," Street says.

Among other priorities are the construction of fire stations to improve the city's fire rating... Along with plans for new facilities for the police department and street and sanitation departments.

"We'll ask for public input and what their priorities are and what they want to see. Then, we'll go back and look at them based on the needs... The actual factual needs and what the citizens prefer to see and we'll allocate our monies the best we can," Street says.