Judge’s Cup CASA Classic, A Virtual Tournament

It’s time to register to play!  Pulaski County Friends of CASA, Inc., along with Judge Barry Hyde, would like to invite you to the Judge’s Cup CASA Classic, a Virtual Tournament. The Judge’s Cup CASA Classic is our largest fundraiser each year and directly supports our mission to serve each child in the foster care system.  This year in order to promote participant safety, we have changed our tournament to a virtual format.  Our teams will register to play and then schedule their own tee times with Eagle Hill Golf and Athletic Club.  Teams can play anytime during October.  Scores will be submitted, and winners will be announced after all teams have played.

Today, there are almost 500 children in foster care in Pulaski County. Pulaski County Court Appointed Special Advocates is a non-profit welfare organization for abused and neglected children. We are a voice for children in foster care. In 2019, with your help, we were able to serve 266 children. That is 9% more children than we were able to serve in 2018! We are committed to serving every child in our community, and we are asking for your help – especially this year when non-profits have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and even more children have been put at risk due to the significant risk factors faced during the pandemic.

Please join us in October, at Eagle Hill Golf & Athletic Club. All participants and sponsors will receive a 20% discount for our Celebrity Tournament planned for April 2021.

Please consider becoming a SPONSOR of our event.  Multiple sponsorship opportunities are available for the Judge’s Cup CASA Classic, a Virtual Tournament.  See our list of sponsorship opportunities.

Census Deadline is Rapidly Approaching

Arkansas ranks #41 in the county, tied with Oklahoma at 59.7%, below the national rate of 65.5%. Pulaski County is still holding strong at #14 out of 75 counties with a self-response rate of 62.6%. County city rankings are below . Individual communities (tracts) can be found here. Just click the tract to see the self-response rate.
The deadline to complete the 2020 Census is September 30. Visit my2020census.gov today!
*rankings as of 9/7/20

Emergency Housing Program Experiences Uptick in Phone Calls Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Prior to the pandemic, the Pulaski County Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program averaged approximately 43 calls per month for rental assistance. Since April, the program has seen a massive increase of people seeking housing assistance through the county’s rapid rehousing and homeless prevention programs. By the last week of August, the program received a total of 206 calls; a 379% increase in requests for rental assistance.

The ESG program received approximately $126,000 in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the CARES Act to assist county communities.

Below is a breakdown of the funding:

Emergency Solutions Grant Program 2019-2020

Homeless Prevention-$54,085

Rapid Rehousing-420,000

Administration-$500

HMIS-$1000

 

Emergency Solutions Grant Program 2020-2021

Homeless Prevention- $30,000

Rapid Rehousing- $20,000

Administration $415

 

Emergency Solutions Grant Program, Cares Act Funding

Homeless Prevention- $25,000

Rapid Rehousing- $50,000

Administration-$5,000

 

Anyone needing assistance is urged to leave a message at 501-340-8399.

County Treasurer Signs Agreement with Centennial Bank to Accept Tax Payments

Pulaski County, AR — The Pulaski County Treasurer’s Office announced today that it has signed an agreement with Centennial Bank for processing tax payments, beginning Sept. 1.

Pulaski County taxpayers can pay their property taxes at 2922 S. University Ave in Little Rock and 4514 Camp Robinson Rd. in North Little Rock Centennial Bank locations. The county treasurer’s staff will work both locations and provide drive thru service in the Lane 4 only. Tax payments are not accepted in the bank lobby.

“The pandemic stifled or halted many businesses and activities in Pulaski County, our in-person services were no exception,” Pulaski County Treasurer, Debra Buckner said. “My executive staff and I worked tirelessly to find a solution that would allow in-person payments.”

In March 2020, as COVID-19 cases increased, the Pulaski County Judge issued an executive order restricting access to county buildings.  All Treasurer locations are closed to the public.  At this time, tax payments can only be made electronically, by mail and the payment drop box on Second Street.

“We owe a huge thanks to Centennial Bank. Many of our citizens want to pay in person and want a physical receipt—in hand,” Buckner said. “It’s important that our citizens receive the same level of customer service that they’ve grown to expect.”

In 2019, from Oct. 1 to Oct. 15 (the tax payment deadline), approximately 86,000 payments were made to the treasurer’s office for business, personal and real estate taxes. The treasurer’s office hopes for the same level in 2020.

“Centennial Bank has been looking for new opportunities to serve and assist our community since the Pandemic began.  When we realized our Bank’s existing technology and facilities could be used to provide the Pulaski County Treasurer and citizens of the county with a drop-off location for property tax payments, we jumped at the chance to take part in this unique collaboration.  We look forward to working side-by-side with county employees,” Division President, Gordon Silaski said.

The property tax deadline is Oct. 15. Taxpayers with more than 10 individual payments are encouraged to call the Treasurer’s office at 501-340-6040 for assistance. Taxpayers can also pay online at pulaskicountytreasurer.net where live chat is available.

###

Poll Workers Needed for 2020 Election

We have new equipment and additional early voting sites…now we need you! Pulaski County needs approximately 960 poll workers to run the county election, we have 403 poll workers confirmed to work. We’re asking Pulaski County residents to step in and help us guarantee a smooth election by applying to be a poll worker. You have the option to receive pay or volunteer. Please share this information with your friends, family, community and volunteer organizations.

The Pulaski County Election commission, working with the Arkansas Department of Health, will follow recommendations and guidelines from the CDC. The commission will provide PPE including face coverings, gloves, face shields, plastic barriers and disinfectant wipes. The commission will also limit the number of voters allowed a polling location at one time (depending on the location size).

If you are interested in becoming a Pulaski County Election Poll Worker, apply online or download an application.

Information for Pulaski County Voters

Check your voter registration!

Request an Absentee Ballot

Feedback Needed for Two Rivers Park Inclusive Playground

Rendering of inclusive parkPulaski County Public Works is applying for grants offered by the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, to aid in the construction of an inclusive playground in Two Rivers Park. We would like to hear your comments, suggestions and ideas. Please complete the form here.

The Two Rivers Park Inclusive Playground is for children of all abilities and ages. Youth can climb, swing, slide, rock, spin, crawl, roll and most of all laugh. Additional parking, a pavilion shelter for gatherings, a music note area and shade structures throughout are some of the family-oriented amenities that are proposed. The goal is to create an inclusive destination playground that will attract visitors from all corners of Pulaski County and beyond.

Notice of Virtual Public Hearing: Southwest Trail

Pulaski, Saline, and Garland Counties, in coordination with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), will conduct a virtual location public hearing to present the preferred alternative for the Southwest Trail (bicycle and pedestrian path) connecting the City of Hot Springs with the City of Little Rock.

The virtual location public hearing will be hosted at SWTrail.TransportationPlanRoom.com beginning Sunday, July 12, 2020 and ending Wednesday, August 26, 2020.

Virtual Public Hearing for East-West Connector Study

Virtual Public Involvement Meeting to present the East-West North Pulaski Connector Study goals and solicit public feedback on how to best improve the transportation network in northern Pulaski County. Anyone with limited internet access or general questions or comments regarding the study or virtual public meeting may call the ARDOT Transportation Planning and Policy Division at (501) 569-2201. Visit http://www.ardot.gov/east-west-connector.

Groundbreaking Held to Announce Public Infrastructure Improvements at the Port of Little Rock

Over $11 Million in New Public Infrastructure Will Help Bring Two New Industries to the Port

Local, state and federal leaders gathered today for a groundbreaking ceremony on new transportation infrastructure at the Port of Little Rock. Construction has now begun to widen and improve Zeuber Road to meet heavy industrial standards in anticipation of two new companies locating there. The $5 million project was made possible through funding from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock and Pulaski County.

In addition to the Zeuber Road improvements, the Port of Little Rock also announced an additional $6 million in public infrastructure funds for additional road widening, intersection improvements and new road construction to accommodate increased transportation capacity needs associated with the new companies. Funding for these improvements was provided through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, Delta Regional Authority, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, the City of Little Rock, and Pulaski County.

As the Port continues to acquire land for future industrial sites, this more than $11 million in transportation infrastructure improvements will help existing companies’ expansion opportunities while being key to attracting even more new companies to the Port of Little Rock. The improvements will also provide a safer and more efficient transportation system for employees, customers, and suppliers.

“Now more than ever, it’s critical that our infrastructure keep pace with the growing demands of industry in Arkansas,” Governor Asa Hutchinson said. “The Port of Little Rock is a prime area for business. Once completed, the Zeuber Road project will be an important asset for businesses that require easily navigable infrastructure to support workforce and trade.”

“This ceremony marks a big day for our state. Home to over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people, the Port of Little Rock is the largest industrial hub in central Arkansas,” said U.S. Senator John Boozman. “Those numbers are about to grow once again, proving that investments in infrastructure truly do promote economic expansion and job growth. I look forward to CZ-USA and Amazon’s contribution to the long-term development in the region.”

“The Port of Little Rock is a key component of the capital’s economic engine that facilitates commerce, trade, and job growth,” said Senator Tom Cotton. “The port’s modernization will ensure that Little Rock and our state remain competitive in the global marketplace.”

“With over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people, the Port of Little Rock is the largest industrial hub in our area. I am pleased that my efforts with Senator Boozman and Senator Cotton encouraged the Delta Regional Authority to approve funding for infrastructure upgrades at the Port,” said Representative French Hill. “Judge Barry Hyde and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce understand that these improvements will make central Arkansas more attractive for new business. Their partnership with the Economic Development Agency will continue to spur investment in our region and long-term job growth.”

“Today is a momentous occasion for the City of Little Rock, Pulaski County, and the Arkansas Delta region, where the union of federal, state, and local entities work to improve existing infrastructure and further develop an area that will attract new industries and create an economic impact felt far beyond the Port of Little Rock,” said the Delta Regional Authority Federal Co-Chairman Chris Caldwell.

“The Port is one of the county’s most important assets, which is why investing in the core infrastructure of the Port has been a focal point of Pulaski County Government and my administration,” stated Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “The long-anticipated development and improvements to Zeuber Road will support the growing number of vehicles needing to safely access the Port. Having the necessary infrastructure in place is why companies like Amazon, CZ USA and HMS Manufacturing are choosing to invest and locate their operations in Pulaski County. At a time when jobs are at a premium, I am confident that our investments will be a jobs creator as we attract evermore industries to Central Arkansas.”

“This is an example of new public infrastructure investments leading to new jobs for the residents of Little Rock,” said Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. “I am excited and grateful the Port of Little Rock will undergo these improvements, which will help our city recruit new companies as well as retain our current businesses.”

“Little Rock’s location and business-friendly environment make it an ideal choice for companies looking to invest, and I’m confident that improvements to the infrastructure at the Port of Little Rock will continue to attract new business to the area,” Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Commerce Mike Preston said. “Increasing the industrial quality of Zeuber Road will benefit the city and its economic partners for many years to come.”

The Port of the Little Rock serves as a logistics hub for the area having immediate access to rail, highway, and waterway, offering convenient intermodal shipping solutions. The Port is part of the 448-mile McClelland-Kerr Arkansas River, which runs from the Mississippi River northwest to 15 miles east of Tulsa. The port has over 40 businesses that employ over 4,000 people.

“The chamber’s role is to support both our private and public partners to provide meaningful opportunities for our residents,” said Little Rock Regional Chamber Chairman Ronnie Dedman.” “It was a team effort across the public and private sector to make these infrastructure investments happen which will have a lasting effect on the port and its ability to attract and retain companies.”

“The Port of Little Rock was created over 60 years ago to create jobs for the region,” said Port of Little Rock Chair Melissa Hendricks. “These infrastructure improvements have already helped create a number of new jobs and will be a catalyst to help create more new jobs in the future.”

About Port of Little Rock

Centered on global trade, the unique advantage of the Port of Little Rock is the central location and intermodal transportation facilities. In addition to having access on the Arkansas River year-round, the Port provides immediate access to major U.S. interstates, Class I railways, and national runways. The Port is within a day’s drive of many of the nation’s largest population centers and is surrounded by a population of more than one million people. The Port of Little Rock provides multifaceted companies with seamless, nimble, and undisputed logistic channels from the heart of the United States.

#