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Community Offers Solutions for Blighted Areas in North Jonesboro; Road Closures Expected

If the city had the money, what do you want to see happen to blighted areas?   

That was the question University of Memphis School of Architecture students and Kansas State University Technical Assistance to Brownfields representatives were asking citizens as they discussed 4 areas in North Jonesboro.  The areas are located along the railroad corridor expanding from Arkansas State University to Riceland foods.

Credit Brandon Tabor
This is a map of the Railroad Corridor being discussed with citizens. It spans from Arkansas State University to Riceland Foods in North Jonesboro.

Citizens were asked for their opinions at the public meeting Thursday in the Municipal Building on how to use funds from an Environmental Protection Agency “Brownfield” grant for the city. 

The grant allows the city to eliminate blight, increase connectivity with the rest of the city, and increase economic opportunity.  Mayor Harold Perrin says he believes this grant will help keep residents safe and boost the city’s economy:

Credit Brandon Tabor, KASU News
Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin addressing a room full of business leaders and residents at the meeting. He plans to visit Washington D.C. sometime in April to present the citizens' recommendations while applying for the grant.

  "I can tell you that blighted areas create crime; there's no question in my mind," Perrin said to the participants.  "Our quality of life is incredible.  'People, Pride, and Progress' is our logo, and that’s exactly what we do.”            

Community Services Manager Emma Agnew says the city plans to summarize the suggestions for use in the grant application process. 

Perrin says he plans to take the information with him to Washington D. C. later this year.

In related news, road crews will have the inside lanes closed on Red Wolf Blvd from Aggie to Johnson beginning Monday. 

Workers will be removing the median and creating a turn lane.  Officials say the project is expected to last for 2 weeks if weather permits.