Heated at the Huntington Building - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR -- Marsha Mays Reporting

Heated at the Huntington Building

JONESBORO, AR -- The agenda for Jonesboro's City Council meeting appeared fairly calm prior to the meeting, but that quickly changed when a local developer in Jonesboro stepped up to the podium.

Major developer Bruce Burrow was prepared to pick a few bones with the mayor and the city council and that he did, opening a few eyes and ears to what he calls problems with this city.

"They're wrong and I think they know they are wrong," says Bruce Burrow.

Burrow is angry with the City of Jonesboro, over money and what he calls a major lack of communication.

"All I know is that we spent 7 1/2 million dollars of our own money creating a new drainage system that we believed alleviated a number of those people," says Burrow.

When Burrow developed The Mall at Turtle Creek, he spent millions of dollars making improvements to the Turtle Creek District. This in turn, he says, drastically improved the flood plain areas for homes nearby the mall. New flood plains maps were created after his improvements, F.E.M.A. approved those, but the problem he says boils down to the city not doing its job.

"F.E.M.A. on May 25th sent a letter to the city accepting the map that was done by our engineering telling us that it would be effective on June 25th and that there would be a number of homes out of the flood plain. For some reason, we have not been able to get the city to communicate this to the people," says Burrow.

Burrow says calls are constantly rolling into his office from the homeowners wanting to know why they still are in the flood plain and paying flood insurance when he promised to make improvements. He says he's held up to his end of the deal, now the city must do the same.

"I just don't like to be put in the position that says we haven't done what we've said we'd do. We've done that and more and I think the city needs to step up and tell the people, yes the plan has been approved and yes, for other reasons, whatever their reasons are, we haven't communicated it to you," says Burrow.

And Burrow says this problem could easily be solved and possibly save these homeowners lots of money.

"If you're on a fixed income, 50 dollars a month is a lot of money for flood insurance when it's throwing it away and I just think that's wrong," says Burrow.

Burrow says he's just trying to help the city and the citizens. He added somebody's got to speak up when the city doesn't.

"The city should be doing that. I should not have to do the city's work for that. We take pride in our product. We live here, we love this town, but I don't like to see the city in the direction it's headed," adds Burrow.

We were able to speak with Mayor Doug Formon on the phone after the meeting. We asked about some of the problems Mr. Burrow addressed Tuesday night and he says the main reason they haven't notified the residents just yet is because they wanted to make sure they had all the right information in line. They didn't want to make someone think they were out of the flood plain when they could possibly be put right back in, due to new maps the city is currently working on.

After a heated discussion, the council did decide to go ahead and send a letter out to the homeowners in that flood plain informing them that the maps are now available at city hall and the changes could possibly remove them from the flood plain.    

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