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Editorial 1/25/17

Editorial for January 25, 2017

We welcome some new advertisers in the last few issues. Business is good in the River Valley. Every advertiser has told us that 2016 was a great year except for October 15 until Christmas shopping got everyone’s mind off of an election that created a big black hole in the fall.

This year will see an upswing in business as the Highway 71 corridor fleshes out between here and Fort Smith. That’s only good for Greenwood if some serious planning is done. Otherwise, Greenwood will become that town that’s “down there just past the progress where the schools got too big to deliver a good product” and that is not the reputation we want.

Here’s a few suggestions that do not require much prognostication:

  1. We’re all out of places for people to build homes in Greenwood. Before you run out and turn every hayfield into a subdivision, remember that there are some development rules that were put into place too late. You’re not helping a town out if there are no sidewalks, street lights, neighborhood parks. I know it costs more to develop the right way, but for too long developers got by without installing all of that. The City of Greenwood actually had to pay to build a sidewalk along Ridgecrest Drive so that kids could walk safely to school. The City had to install street lights in Dawson Valley because a developer didn’t have to do so. That list goes on.
  2. A new wastewater treatment plant is going to be needed to develop the western side of town along the 71 business corridor. Those gadgets are expensive and no developer will ever install that infrastructure. The City needs to concentrate on that and stop carrying on about a great big park that no one can afford without serious state money and no one is going after any that I can see.
  3. The Rye Hill/Chaffee Crossing is the biggest economic development in the state right now and all that is going to do is put a big bunch of Ft. Smith kids in Greenwood schools. Greenwood is going to have to annex and fast to make for residential and business development.
  4. Greenwood has to be a place that encourages business startups. If there are no serious increases in sales taxes to build out infrastructure and police and fire protection, then we will strangle from the weight of our own residential growth.

When a business opens here or grows here, it is good for us all. The WareHouse growth is a perfect example. Join Meryl on February 4th to celebrate her success, but also celebrate the notion that business is good in Greenwood, Arkansas where I remain,

Yours for a kinder tomorrow

Kenneth Lawton Edwards

PSG Pharmacy
PSG Pharmacy