An Economic Boost For Birdeye? - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Birdeye - Keith Boles reporting

An Economic Boost For Birdeye?

BIRDEYE (KAIT) Currently there are four veterans cemeteries in Arkansas but only 3 are open for burials.

Recently 99 acres was purchased near Birdeye to develop a new state-operated veterans cemetery.

Besides giving vets a place for eternal rest, the new facility could have an economical benefit for Birdeye.

The small town of Birdeye sits nestled next to Crowley's Ridge, no cars pass on this July day. But in about a year when the new veterans cemetery opens a mile East of the town. This intersection may see quite a bit of traffic.

 Bob Stacy, Co-Owner, Old W. M. Smith Farm. "We anticipate a lot of traffic. Mr. Fletcher in Little Rock, with the veterans affairs says possibly 3 or 4 hundred burials a year. Which would be a tremendous lot of traffic."

 Bob Stacy one of the owners of the old W. M. Smith farm works out of his office inside the old farm store .

 The cemetery will be created out of a pasture on the Old Smith farm and Stacy thought it was kind of out of the way.

  "This is kind of isolated but then it's not were developing a radius of 75 to ninety miles. "

There is one business in Birdeye , and it serves the best hamburger in town.

  At  lunchtime at the Birdeye store and the place is almost full. But within a year there could be a lot more sitting down for lunch.

 Every day but Sunday Kay Buroughs and her family members including her granddaughter Sarah, sister Flo and in-law Shannon.

Kay says she hasn't really thought much about the future yet.

 "I don't know what else to do. We cook breakfast, lunch, stuff like that."

 Right now the restaurant can handle about 35 people at a time. I was there at lunch and there was a steady stream of regulars coming in for sandwiches and the daily plate lunch specials.

 Borough, "Most of our customers is farmers and some local people who come from cherry valley and around here. "

 Besides home cooking the store also provides necessities and once served as the post office.

 Stacy says he never really thought about an economic upswing for the store.

  "It really wasn't a thought about increasing the traffic at the store but certainly, certainly it will."

 Kay says the visitors they get now enjoy the place simply for what it is.

 "They said it's just the old country store, they like to come in here and look around.they just like to come in here and sit down. "

 And if they sit down, they eat.

 "We got wasiti, green beans, corn, cream potatoes and gravy, cornbread, we have different kinds of desserts each day, fried pies. "

The cemetery is slated to be open either late in 2009 or sometime in 2010.

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