Downtown Pond Causing a Stink

JONESBORO, AR -- Over the past several years the downtown area of Jonesboro has had a lot of work done in hopes to bring more people down to Main Street.

Now that more people are coming, some of the business owners feel the area isn't being maintained like it should be.

"Right now the biggest problem we have is this pond," said Piero Trimarchi.

The pond was built a few years ago by a few downtown merchants.

"We see a lot of people coming straight to the pond and then make a face and turn around and leave because they're disappointed," said Trimarchi.

When the merchants couldn't take care of it anymore the city took it over.

"Since about April the Parks and Recreation Department has been in charge of the downtown area and the pond," said Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Jason Wilkie.

Wilkie said they've already put a lot of money into the downtown in the past few months, but they haven't had the money to get the pond fixed like it should be.

"I take full responsibility for things being overgrown a little bit and the pond being like it is.  We're going to correct that," said Wilkie.

Trimarchi said one reason the water is so dirty is that the filter is busted and it is just recycling the dirty water into the pond.

"Something needs to be done.  If the city cannot maintain it, I recommend they just fill it up and eliminate it," said Trimarchi.

"If the city can't afford it and can't maintain it, it might be best if we replaced it with a flower bed," said Wilkie.

But Wilkie said that would be a last resort, first he has other plans.

"We can drain it, we can clean it up, we can get the right bio-filter, but that will be a temporary fix.  To make it long term it's going to cost $6,000 $10,000," said Wilkie.

The city will start taking bids in the next couple of weeks to get this project from green to clean.

The next event that will be held downtown is only three weeks away.  The kick-off pep rally for the Arkansas State University Athletic Season is held right in the heart of downtown Jonesboro.