- Associated Press - Monday, October 27, 2014

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - White Hall residents soon will have a new community center, while Pine Bluff is still waiting for construction to start on a proposed multipurpose center.

In May 2013, White Hall voters passed a $4.5 million bond measure to build the community center that’s expected to open early next year.

Residents in Pine Bluff, only a few miles away from White Hall, passed a bond issue to fund their proposed multipurpose center three years ago. It still hasn’t been built.

The difference in project timelines has left some Pine Bluff residents questioning why there’s been a delay for their city’s building, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (https://bit.ly/1w91j0e ) reported.

“We need something that we can show our kids, something that shows them we care about them,” Pine Bluff resident Travis Macon said. “Look around town at all these old nasty buildings. Let’s put up a new one. It’s time now.”

But Pine Bluff officials say it’s a matter of prioritizing projects.

Community Development Director Larry Matthews said the 2011 voter-approved sales tax increase has funded several bond initiatives deemed more urgent than the center, including a fire station, city equipment upgrades and drainage improvements.

A committee has been formed to work on the design of the new multipurpose center that will include an aquatics center, Matthews said. The aquatics part of the center will be the first to open, and construction is expected to start sometime next year, he said.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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