Leader Blues

Friday, March 28, 2008

TOP STORY > >Jacksonville is upbeat

According to the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Gravel Ridge voters should consider what Jacksonville has to offer them when they vote on the annexation issue Tuesday:

Jacksonville offers the residents of Gravel Ridge a well-managed, financially stable community, which has received awards for its fiscal management for the past decade.

Jacksonville will offer a warm welcome to the citizens of Gravel Ridge.

Jacksonville is in better financial condition than Sherwood.

Gravel Ridge voters will be wise to look beyond current tax rates to the long-term financial impact of joining Sherwood.

Sherwood has recently made significant financial obligations that will ultimately cost all citizens of Sherwood.

The old North Hills Country Club is likely to cost Sherwood taxpayers $5 million or more. The city promised developers in the recent 2,000-acre annexation area $2 million for a wastewater transmission line.

Sherwood has recently been fined $17,400 by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for repeated violations in their wastewater treatment facilities.

These included violating the limits for fecal coli form bacteria (a serious pathogen) and failing to notify the ADEQ about releasing 100,000 gallons of raw sewage into Silver Creek.

Eventually, Sherwood will be forced to fix problems in their system and this is likely to be a multi-million-dollar project. If Sherwood uses bonds to finance any of the projects, costs will escalate due to underwriting and lawyer fees and interest on the bonds.

Ultimately Sherwood residents will bear those costs.

By joining Jacksonville, Gravel Ridge voters will save $60 per year on trash pickup and see their service increased significantly with twice-a-week pickup on household trash, once a week pickup for yard waste and once- a week recycling. Jacksonville has a senior center that provides transportation for senior adults to the center for activities and meals as well as Meals on
Wheels to seniors in the area.

Jacksonville has an excellent park system, and a professional police and fire department.

Quicker response times will mean greater protection for the homes and lives of the families in Gravel Ridge. Jacksonville will provide more police per capita and has committed to working cooperatively with the Gravel Ridge Volunteer Fire Department to improve service.

Jacksonville has an excellent park system, which includes a water park and community center. Jacksonville will provide more police per capita and has committed to working cooperatively with the Gravel Ridge Volunteer Fire Department to improve service.

You’ll be a part of a great community with good people who want you to join with them in making it an even better place to live, work and raise a family.