2020 Census is Underway, Pulaski County ranks 10th

The 2020 Census is underway! Out of 75 counties, Pulaski County is in 10th place!

County Judge Barry Hyde, Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. and North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith have taken the pledge and challenge you to take the pledge to complete the Census.

We encourage you to communicate the importance of the Census to friends, family and your community. Remember, even a one percent undercount could cost Arkansas approximately $990 million over the next decade. We cannot lose focus of the need to ensure a complete count in Pulaski County.

Arkansas ranks 37th in Census response rates. Eight spaces below Mississippi, 10 spaces below Alabama and 11 spaces below Tennessee. No southern states are in the top 10 nor top 25. Let’s change that!

Take the pledge and complete the census online

See additional State of Arkansas rankings.

County Redevelopment through Federal Program

Revitalization of buildings and land through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields programs, allows Pulaski County to have a significant role in the economic development of Central Arkansas. “A brownfield is a property where expansion, redevelopment, or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant or containment. It is estimated there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites in the U.S.”

According to the EPA, when cleanup is completed, the Brownfields Program can increase residential property values 5% – 15% near brownfields sites and increase local tax revenues.

Pulaski County encourages land owners and potential land owners who wish to redevelopment but development has been complicated to do issues listed above to complete the information. This information is a used as a pre-screening tool for the Brownfields Program Administrator. If the property is a good fit for the program, the administrator will request additional information to complete the application process.

Program Overview

Complete the pre-screening inform.

Pulaski County and the 2020 Census

Southwest Trail, connecting communities

Currently, there is no path from Hot Springs to Little Rock dedicated to pedestrians nor bicyclists. A surge in interest from the public in trails and greenways on existing trails in central Arkansas is creating a large demand for a trail to connect Hot Springs National Park with the Arkansas River Trail system. The 60-mile trail will provide a safe route for pedestrians and bicyclists to enjoy outdoor recreation while simultaneously providing an economic stimulus to Central Arkansas.

Since 2014, the Pulaski, Saline and Garland counties have worked in collaboration to obtain funding to design the Southwest Trail. The design cost is approximately $3.2 million. The counties obtained $2.6 in grant funds; the counties will split the remaining cost. In January 2018, Pulaski County issued a request for qualifications for architect and engineering services for the preliminary design.

In 2018, Garver Engineers was chosen to complete an environmental assessment, assist with public involvement and associated stakeholder meetings.

Pulaski, Saline, and Garland Counties, in coordination with the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), held three public involvement meetings to present and discuss location alternatives for the Southwest Trail.

After the public meetings, the project team has been reviewing and incorporating public input, and revising the proposed trail alignments. Additional environmental studies and design work is taking place. An environmental document will be prepared later this year, followed by a public meeting anticipate in fall 2019 to review the revised alignment and Environmental Assessment document.

A Southwest Trail project update newsletter is available to view and download on the project website. Find out the status of the project study, schedule information, and how to be notified when the next public meeting is scheduled.

For more information about the Southwest Trail

Cozetta Jones
Communications Director
cjones@pulaskicounty.net

501-340-8523

Little Maumelle Bridge Project Complete

The Little Maumelle Bridge project is finally complete. The seven month long project, engineered by Development Consultants Incorporated, began on July 25, 2015. DCI, along with Mobley Contractors, have constructed a newer, wider, and more durable bridge located half a mile past the Ferndale and Kanis intersection.

The opening ceremony for the new bridge was held February 06, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.

Thank you to DCI, Mobley Contractors, and our team at the Road and Bridge department for overseeing the building of our new “Steel Truss Bridge”!

Pulaski County Reopens Community Center

img_0199-1.jpgPulaski County Government held a ribbon cutting and open house Thursday, Aug. 4 for the Pulaski County Higgins Community Center.

The more than 2,600 square-foot facility is complete with a multipurpose room, education room and warming kitchen. The multipurpose room features a retractable wall that converts the room into two classrooms. The education room contains five computers.

The total cost of construction was approximately $347,000. Grant funds included $50,000 from State Senator Linda Chesterfield and $3,000 from Wal-Mart for computers.

WE CARE Executive Director Patricia Jackson said, “I am overjoyed to once again provide much needed services to this community in a new building. I’m thankful to the County for seeing the need and fulfilling that need.”

The program WE CARE operates from the facility to provide services such as recreational programs, youth development, emergency assistance and tobacco prevention. WE CARE serves communities of Southeast Pulaski County including Sweet Home, Higgins, Wrightsville, Woodson and Hensley.

“The WE CARE program has been a valuable resource to the Higgins Community and surrounding areas,” said Pulaski County Judge Barry Hyde. “We are proud to know that because of the rebuild the services will continue. Children and youth in the area will continue to have a place to go to receive tutoring, mentoring and guidance afterschool and during the summer.”

Higgins 2

The green building once served as the Higgins Community Center. Both the green building and the house were demolished to build the new facility.

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Water Project a Success: Pulaski County and Frazier Pike Community Collaborate to Improve Quality of Life

Frazier Pike

Left to Right: Tim Davis, Frazier Pike Facilities Board; Anthony Kelley, Pulaski County; Ricky Thomas, Frazier Pike Facilities Board; Tanya Childers, Grant Administrator; Eric Fleming, Jonathan Long, Central Arkansas Water; Dewania Coleman-Jones, ANRC Project Administrator; Rodger Williams, Contractor; Randy Polk, ANRC Project Engineer; Mike Marlar, Consulting Engineer; and Fredrick Love, Pulaski County Community Services Director. Photo Credit: Arkansas Natural Resources Commission

The ability to turn on the tap and have clean water is something that most individuals expect. For more than 60 residents in the Southeast area of the County—this was not always the case.

In 2012 it was discovered that residents of the Frazier Pike and Harper Road area were exposed to water contaminated with e-coli. Arkansas Department of Health reports revealed that 15 of 22 wells “were unsafe” and “public water would be in the best interest of the area in regards to public health.”

Tanya Childers of Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (CAPDD) and Mike Marlar of Marlar Engineering, Inc. held a public hearing with the community to gain support of a grant application for a Community Development Block Grant. Before an application could be submitted 51 percent of the residents had to qualify as low and moderately-low income and the community had to support the project. Approximately 75 percent of the Frazier Pike Community qualified as low and moderate-income households and qualified the community to apply for the grant.

The citizen group later made a presentation to the Pulaski County Quorum Court, who then approved the formation of the Frazier Pike Public Facilities Board, chaired by community resident Ricky Thomas.

“Over the years the water quality kept getting worse due to contamination from now closed businesses,” Thomas said. “In my opinion, you can’t have a good quality of life without good quality water.”

At the request of the Facilities Board and Pulaski County Community Services, in March 2013, the Quorum Court voted to allow the County to submit a grant application to the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission for the purpose of extending water to residents of Frazier Pike and Harper Road. Childers was approved to be the Environmental Review Compliance Liaison and the CAPDD was appointed as the grant administrator.

“Every time a project such as the Frazier Pike water extension comes to fruition, it is a great feeling of accomplishment,” Childers said. The Frazier Pike project created a positive quality of life change for that community. There were many individuals that worked together to make it happen.  I was blessed to play a part in it,” she said.

After gaining approval from several environmental agencies, the grant application was submitted and later approved. Funding for the project totaled $1,025,000; $775,000 from the Community Development Block Grant Program and $250,000 in loan funding from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to be repaid by the collection of $28.15 per meter, per month.

“Pulaski County has ensured the health and safety of families in the Southeastern portion of Pulaski County is protected by completing the Frazier Pike Water system,” Pulaski County Community Services Director Fred Love said. “This will enable current and future residents of this portion of the County safe drinking water; which is essential for a good quality of life.”

The project was officially completed May 10, 2016. Kajacs Construction laid approximately 3.5 miles of waterline to provide clean drinking water to 68 residents, of which 45 received LMI hookups to the new water system.

“There’s nothing more fundamental to a healthy community than access to clean drinking water,” County Judge Barry Hyde said. “This project is a success in the implementation of public works for a community that needed it the most. I’m proud that Pulaski County could contribute to improving the quality of life for the Frazier Pike community.”