JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Concerns over economic development in Region 8 caused local leaders to meet Friday to unite and find ways to keep money in Northeast Arkansas.
State Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) called together the meeting at the Delta Center for Economic Development, as a sort of first step for mayors and legislators in the region to come together and improve the local economy.
A chief concern in the conference that was made by mayors of small towns, was about making sure they aren’t left in the dust of development in larger towns.
Sen. Sullivan made sure to let these leaders know that they aren’t forgotten and that building a regional plan will keep rural areas in the loop.
“They have great schools, great places to live. But we need to include them in a regional plan,” Sullivan said. “It’s not just about Jonesboro, not just about West Memphis, it’s about what we do as a region again to keep our money here.”
Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp was one of the leaders that expressed his concerns but left the meeting feeling satisfied with how things went.
“They don’t give you a book on how it all works,” Snapp said. “You have to figure that part out on your own and it’s these types of meetings that help us do that and put us in touch with local leaders and our legislators as well.”
The Delta Center’s Andrea Allen also reminded leaders like Snapp of federal funding that was available and hammered home the idea that more communication in the region will yield stronger projects for all areas in the future.
Sen. Sullivan says that he plans to hold meetings like this more often and that he intends to meet with several Chambers of Commerce from around the region soon.
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