Jonesboro Looking for Advice on How to Spend Money

December 14, 2006 - Posted at 9:12 p.m. CST

JONESBORO, AR -- City officials are asking Jonesboro residents for advice on how to spend millions of dollars on much needed improvement projects. An informal town hall meeting was held Thursday night and it was a chance for ideas to be exchanged.

"Everything needs to be improved, but the lights are number one and the drainage in my opinion," said Jonesboro resident James Robinson.

"No matter what we do, the money we spend, if we don't maintain it, it's not going to do the job we want it to do," said Robert Reese during the meeting.

It was a chance for citizens to sound off...and have their voices heard.  With a laundry list of capital improvement projects, city officials listened to the concerns of Jonesboro residents.

"We do want public input before we select because a lot of these are high dollar projects and we want to see what the majority of the residents consider priorities," said city councilman John Street.

The city council formally adopted a preliminary capital improvement plan in October, but the total cost is estimated at $58.5 million dollars, with only an anticipated $47.5 million dollars in funds available through 2011...making the comments at Thursday night's meeting priceless.

"We'll put that together and we'll start formulating a plan for the long range.  We already had a place, the council approved a five year plan for capital improvements but we want to make sure we put in there any other projects that may be out there that came from the citizens," said mayor Doug Formon.

The city is considering holding several more meetings next year in different parts of Jonesboro in hopes of gathering more of the public's input.