Fo­cus on city ser­vices

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

As a cit­i­zen and tax­payer of the city of Lit­tle Rock, it is good to know that the city has plenty of money to cover all our ba­sic ser­vices. The city is spend­ing $175,950 with an out-of­s­tate con­sul­tant to write yet an­other re­port re­gard­ing the 30 Cross­ing project. This is af­ter spend­ing $125,770 for ear­lier work. That is $301,720 to di­vert any neg­a­tive im­pact away from City Hall since the re­port that could have been writ­ten in-house in­stead comes from an out-of-state ex­pert.

Since the Lit­tle Rock Po­lice Depart­ment doesn’t need any new ve­hi­cles or ad­di­tional funds for over­time, Pub­lic Works doesn’t need any new garbage trucks and all the pot­holes are gone, and all the other ba­sic core ser­vices have no needs, it makes per­fect sense that City Hall would spend our money to buy re­ports slanted to bol­ster its anti-30 Cross­ing agenda. Un­for­tu­nately, this rep­re­sents a stan­dard spend­ing prac­tice in Lit­tle Rock govern­ment — fluff and pol­i­tics of­ten have a higher pri­or­ity than ba­sic ser­vices.

The sec­tion of I-30 through North Lit­tle Rock and Lit­tle Rock is crowded and dan­ger­ous. De­lays along that route cost a for­tune in lost work time and late de­liv­er­ies. The plans to re­place the river bridge and re­work frontage roads/ramps take very lit­tle ad­di­tional right-of-way and don’t add any­thing that cuts off the ar­eas to the east of down­town.

If Lit­tle Rock wants busi­ness and in­dus­try to lo­cate in the city or stay in the city, City Hall needs to con­sider mak­ing it rel­a­tively safer and faster to get to those work sites. Chok­ing the traf­fic flow will even­tu­ally force busi­nesses to look else­where so that their cus­tomers/clients and em­ploy­ees can get to them. It is past time to get to work build­ing the 30-Cross­ing project and well past time for Lit­tle Rock City Hall to fo­cus on pro­vid­ing the ba­sic ser­vices we need.

MARK BARNHARD

Lit­tle Rock

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