Mayor and Councilman React to Controversy

JONESBORO, AR -- Burrow's comments at Tuesday night's city council meeting were aimed at the city.

Mayor Foreman says a breakdown in communication between the developer's engineer and the city led to part of the delay. Secondly - he says - the city is waiting on an additional map to make sure the information they have is correct.

"We thought that they had been notified by the engineer on the side. We did learn later that that was incorrect," says Mayor Formon.

And that wasn't the only hold back to releasing the map information. Mayor Doug Formon says the city is working on new maps that could possibly change the flood plain areas that this map has laid out.

"But there is that possibility that a few houses may actually be put back in. So they're in now, they may be taking out by the mall at turtle creek's LOMAR, but possibly put back in by the CTP. So we want to make sure that we don't tell someone some information and they go through a lot of work to get taken out and then they're immediately put back in," says Mayor Formon.

So by holding back on initially releasing the FEMA approved maps, has the city let these 400 or so residents down? We asked alderman Tim McCall.

"I think yes, to a degree, if I was paying flood insurance and could've found out 45 days ago, to a degree yes," says Tim McCall.

Foreman says the city received the letter from FEMA on May 25, but the new floodplain information didn't become effective until June 25th.

"It's not just as simple as saying hey, there's a line here on the map, you're now out. You used to be in and so you don't have to pay flood insurance anymore. There's a little more to it than that and we want to make sure that the information we give out to them is correct," says Mayor Formon.

McCall says regardless, the information should have been given out long before Tuesday.

"Bruce Burrow and MBC Holdings have done what they said they were going to do and now the City of Jonesboro needs to step up and do that," says McCall.

The council voted Tuesday night to have the city attorney draft a letter to be sent out to affected home owners, informing them that the maps are now available and could possibly save them from paying flood insurance.

"No, I don't think we've let anybody down and individual homeowners have known for some time that this map is coming about so no, but we want to make sure they're notified. We want to make sure they have all the information but we do want to do a more diligent job of making sure they get the information out to them," adds Mayor Forman.

Both Mayor Formon and Alderman Tim McCall sang high praises for Bruce Burrow and all he has done for the city saying he's changed the city for the better.