Leader Blues

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

TOP STORY >>Area cities get boost from state turnbacks

Leader staff writer

Sherwood is set to receive a one-time payment of about $145,000 from the state. Jacksonville is expecting more than $200,000. Cabot is looking forward to a $150,000 windfall and Lonoke is to get approximately $29,000.

The money is a one-time return of tax funds that divvies up the almost $900 million surplus the state had at the end of last year. The state legislature earmarked the extra money for a number of projects and also decided to give each city a portion of the surplus.

It works out to $6.75 per person, Sherwood Mayor Virginia Hillman told the city council Monday night.

She suggested the city use the money to update and replace the citys storm sirens.

Alderman Sheila Sulcer agreed, saying the one in her neighborhood wasnt working last year. If we had a tornado come through, it would have been horrible, she said.

Hillman said she believed all the sirens were working, but that there were always problems with them.

The council took no action Monday, but will decide at a later council meeting if they want to spend the one-time money on the sirens.

Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Swaim said the city has been anticipating the state refund, but no check has been cut yet. We did not put the money in our budget, and Im coming up with a list of possible projects that we can spend the money on. The final decision will be up to the council, the mayor said. He added there is no deadline for cities to spend or use the money.
Cabot will be using its money to help pay for 15.5 acres in the industrial park on Hwy. 367, where an armory is supposed to be built.

The city council has agreed to purchase the property for $399,000 with the stipulation that all but $49,000 of that amount will come from the state.

Once the property is purchased, the deed will be signed over to the Arkansas National Guard, which will have the construction of the $8 million armory placed in line for federal funding within the next five years. Lonoke will be using its funds to finish remodeling the old train depot where the city holds meetings, according to Mayor Wayne McGee.