Batesville officials move forward with planning the future

Batesville officials move forward with planning the future

BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - In early September, Batesville city leaders asked residents to imagine winning the lottery. How would they use that money to improve the quality of life in the area?

More than 200 citizens answered that question, and now the results are in.

This is what they are hoping to see:

  • 90% Riverfront Development
  • 70% Increase in Live Music for Entertainment
  • 65% Pedestrian-Friendly Walking Bridge
  • 55% Address the Unpleasant Odor
  • 55% Additional Restaurants
  • 55% Completion of the Pedestrian Trail System
  • 55% Access to Recreation on the White River
  • 55% Indoor Play Options
  • 45% More Options for Outdoor Adventure
  • 45% New Movie Theatre
  • 45% Ability to Purchase Alcohol

“Riverfront development was one of the big, really hot topics of that meeting, so that involves many different entities," said Kyle Christopher, the town’s director of tourism. "It involves probably several different phases, but we know that is our big area of interest and really that is one of our biggest opportunities.”

If you recall, this same meeting happened a decade ago and they were able to accomplish many of those projects, including the community center and aquatics park.

These results are now in the hands of the IMPACT Steering Committee and the city of Batesville. Community leaders will continue to gather input throughout the county based on the four IMPACT hubs: economic prosperity, educational excellence, tourism/quality of life, and healthy living/wellbeing.

When it comes to funding these projects, Christopher says there will be multiple ways including public/private partnerships, grants, and more. He says some of the projects are small and others, like a river pedestrian bridge, will take time to figure out the logistics.

Officials with IMPACT say now that they have an idea of what people want, they are now buckling down to see what it will take to get the projects done.

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