Error message

  • Warning: preg_match() [function.preg-match]: Unknown modifier '2' in getOS() (line 1183 of /home/citywire/public_html/sites/all/themes/tcw/template.php).
  • Warning: preg_match() [function.preg-match]: Unknown modifier 'c' in getOS() (line 1183 of /home/citywire/public_html/sites/all/themes/tcw/template.php).

What do you suggest?

In a discussion recently on the Wire a poster asked me what I would suggest in terms of development.  He had suggested that no area be developed that had poor people living there as they would just relocate to other areas.  He even referred to Coke Hill as being a former poor people location as surely it was.  He seemed to bemoan the fact that those people living there had been relocated.  What he refers to is the Fort Smith National Historic Site.  It would not have come to be if Judge Paul Wolfe and others had not dislocated the squatters that lived there.  When run down areas are redeveloped the homeless that occupy vacant buildings and defecate in people's yards are dislocated. New buildings and parks take their place. That is a good thing. Cheap flop houses and rentals occupied by druggies and thuggy gangster types are eliminated as well. That is a good thing.  There are lots of people who are good folks trying hard who may live in these areas who have no alternatives as well.  They can be relocated into better surroundings.  The reality of course is that any area so affected is going to be small. The good for the community is going to be large.  The example is the National Historic Site.  I know of no other in town where this has been the case.  There is of course the plan for the building that used to be Riverside Furniture becoming a centralized homeless coalition building to better provide services and to move the homeless services away from downtown nearer to what is referred to as south camp where many stay.  Do I want to move the homeless from the downtown area that is trying to be developed into a tourist, arts attraction? Yes.  Is that evil? No. The Marshals Museum and other planned projects on the river and the downtown area do not need these folks wandering the streets and pan handeling our visitors.  One of the projects I hope to see on the riverfront is the Fort Smtih Schools Activity Center.  This would get more people to visit the downtown and riverfront instead of in their lilly white enclaves on the east and south of town.  Some of the wire posters don't seem to know what they want. They complain because new development is going to the east and yet complain because if it is located elsewhere the property owners may make some money. There is just no satisfying some folks.  So what would I suggest? Concentrate our redevelopment on Garrison Ave. and the riverfront. Improve access by extending Kelley Highway to Riverfront Drive. Acquire the old Flowers Bakery building and tear it down for additional parking and eye appeal next to the convention center. Acquire the old Sears building in about the 900 block of Garrison Ave and turn it into free downtown parking. Acquire the old Barry Real Estate building next to IC church and turn it into a park. extend the trolley to IC Church and use it to really move people instead of a museum piece. Build a new city hall next to Cisterna Plaza.  That will do for a start. Will it happen? probably not as long as the trogodytes continue to put the brakes on any proposal that comes along. It is what Pilgrim refers to as "the Fort mentality". NO CHANGE

Five Star: 
Average: 1.9 (28 votes)

Comments

Plea Of The Parasite

Well Observer it sounds like you have the future of Fort Smith planned on your personal drawing board and are proposing spending somewhere north of $125,000,000.00 dollars(125 million) of someone else's money so please tell us how you plan to find these funds in a city that has declining tax revenues? Maybe you want a new prepared food tax, maybe raise sales tax, maybe raise property tax, maybe a city income tax, maybe a Garrison Ave bridge tax, so just tell all of the people on the City Wire where and how you plan to come up with the money in a city that is not business friendly and losing business and jobs faster than a speeding bullet. Your wish list is a good one but you don't reveal any information on how you plan acquire the capital funds. Your plan would be great in NW Arkansas because they know how to be business friendly and fund their growth but in Fort Smith we have people that just love to spend someone else's money while doing everything possible to restrict growth. Please lay out your plan to finance all of your proposed projects on your wish list?

Wow, an actual suggestion!

I believe this is the first time on this site that I've seen an actual plan for something to improve Fort Smith. Kudos to you!

I Suggest Private Funding & More Taxpayer Freedom?

A school activity center on the riverfront? Are you serious? How many Fort Smith students do we have living west of the riverfront? How many students do we have living along Riverfront Drive, (the old Clayton Expressway)? Why are some people obsessed with private riverfront property? Isn't it really a pretty simple concept, people who own property are free to develop that private property at their own expense anytime these private owners feel there is a market for such development? Why do some want to force additional taxation or the raising of water and sewer rates to pay for private development? What do I suggest? I suggest Leadership from city hall that is more obsessed with providing the basic, essential services at the most efficient costs to its' citizens. I suggest a strong and truly competitive market place providing the jobs and growth, without all the additional red tape and regulations and allow the goodness of people and organizations to care for the homeless?
A school activity center on the riverfront? Are you serious? How many Fort Smith students do we have living west of the riverfront? How many students do we have living along Riverfront Drive, (the old Clayton Expressway)? Why are some people obsessed with private riverfront property? Isn't it really a pretty simple concept, people who own property are free to develop that private property at their own expense anytime these private owners feel there is a market for such development? Why do some want to force additional taxation or the raising of water and sewer rates to pay for private development? What do I suggest? I suggest Leadership from city hall ...>> Read the entire comment.

No Change

Exactly, the attitude is any change is bad change. The result of this attitude is stagnation which is blamed entirely on the city board which is only following the will of their voters. Then there is bewilderment when more tax dollars are needed to develop new infrastructure and services to serve the enclaves on the outskirts of town where they go to "escape" the stagnation of the old town. It's a vicious cycle. At this point, the only way to break it is new blood. A growing UAFS and new med school can only help in that regard.

To Listen Is Golden

"city board which is only following the will of the voters" is a strange statement because the BOD refuses to answer any questions on spending, projects, why construction bids are not awarded to low bidder, why big black SUV's were used to issue subpoenas to voters getting signatures just to be allowed to vote, why Flintco of Tulsa is being used to construct the water park when a local contractor said he could build a better water park for 2 million taxpayer dollars less. It looks to me like the BOD are a bunch of puppets who vote the way they are told to vote on projects by the big fish.

Great Plan

I like your dream Observer, how much can you pledge of your own money to develop it into reality? My dream is to see Fort Smith become the tourist capital of the Southwest where anyone who wants a job can find employment and the citizens can enjoy great entertainment events downtown on a monthly basis. Downtown events will bring them here to enjoy their visits while spending the cash needed to fund expansion. How much can we count on you to pledge to make your dream come true?

Moving the poor closer to someone else

It was the huge spin of tremendous success our leaders back then attached to the Coke Hill bulldozing project via controlled media, as I soon had them living all around me minus any money to pay for anything for years to come. Do you plan on chasing poor people this time further away from your home and beyond the city limits or what? Otherwise if you would just admit you were actually accomplishing nothing for the city as a whole I would agree. It seems to be a tossup as to whether you hurt yourself or others more almost every time you try to help Ft Smith out, no matter whether trying to obtain a major (appropriate) project near your home rather than someone else's, showing all Ft Smith residents precisely how they should do each and every little thing in their lives, removing 'we buy houses' signs, or making the Gospel Rescue Mission too far for the hungry to walk to so it might as well move. After 35 years of this unrelenting..help..you must be getting tired so why don't you take a little break? A lot of people need it.
It was the huge spin of tremendous success our leaders back then attached to the Coke Hill bulldozing project via controlled media, as I soon had them living all around me minus any money to pay for anything for years to come. Do you plan on chasing poor people this time further away from your home and beyond the city limits or what? Otherwise if you would just admit you were actually accomplishing nothing for the city as a whole I would agree. It seems to be a tossup as to whether you hurt yourself or others more almost every time you try to help Ft Smith out, no matter whether trying to obtain a major (appropriate) project near your home rather than someone ...>> Read the entire comment.

Eradicate Poverty in Fort Smith.............

...........relocate poor people to more affluent communities with more opportunities for self-determination and increased standard of living. Let's be honest about it. The non-profits go through the motions.....all to "con" bleeding hearts who need tax deductions and to justify inflated salaries for executives. If you really care about hungry/down and out people, then invite them to your neighborhood instead of dumping your conscience in someone else's neighborhood. Do poor people a big favor......help them get out of Fort Smith.

Dumb Regulations

The only way to "Eradicate Poverty" is thru real business and job creation in the city where everyone has an opportunity to find employment. It also would be very helpful to relax regulations on older buildings and allow a reasonable amount of time to bring the building up to code.

Not the only way

Poverty among the homeless mentally ill, drug dependent and never-do-well people blighting the streets of Fort Smith would be better served in a more affluent city. The visible presence of such factions is a deterrent to new business and in-migration of young workers. We need to make the scenario attractive for those who invest and those who are employable. The human blight wandering around downtown is simply in conducive to the quality of life for investors and workers.

Observer and his tunnelenvisioned river projects

Most likely we're dealing with one of the biggest problems Ft Smith has ever had to endure with this long time game playing name changameleon. If he brags on something not going near the river it means two things. 1. It is very good. 2. It's too late to get it to move near the water. Oh sure you're neg nab etc if you disagree with him.

Hook Line and Sinker

Observer envisions himself as a big fish in a little pond of smaller fish, but you know what they say about landing a big fish---use a big hook!

Why build more pork barrel roads?

Fix what we have already. Kelley Hwy to Midland to Garrison is a direct route. Cleaning up Midland is astronomically less expensive than building a Kelley or Spradling extension which by the way would route tourist right past the malodorous P Street Water Treatment plant...."Welcome to Fort Smith where life literally stinks" is not the greeting we want....What about cleaning-up Grand Ave. as a gateway to downtown route? Flowers along the boulevard and well maintained properties would speak well for the community to visitors. How about signage between I-40 in Roland, OK and Fort Smith guiding and enticing visitors? All this is doable and at miniscule expense compare to the high price of new pork barrel roads and crony, no bid contracts. No more business as usual. We can't afford the luxury !!

Interesting comment

By "cleaning up", what exactly do you suggest? Forcing property owners and businesses to improve their properties? Eminent domain? I do agree that Midland and Grand are very important gateway streets. Midland is the primary connection from downtown Fort Smith to downtown Van Buren. If we are serious about bringing in more tourists, Midland is the road most likely to be seen and used by folks going from one town to the other or using the fairgrounds. Grand is the first connection from 540 to downtown from the north as well as the entrance to prospective UAFS students and parents. The work done on Grand within the campus zone is nice but how much would it cost to extend and wouldn't businesses oppose anything that might limit access?
By "cleaning up", what exactly do you suggest? Forcing property owners and businesses to improve their properties? Eminent domain? I do agree that Midland and Grand are very important gateway streets. Midland is the primary connection from downtown Fort Smith to downtown Van Buren. If we are serious about bringing in more tourists, Midland is the road most likely to be seen and used by folks going from one town to the other or using the fairgrounds. Grand is the first connection from 540 to downtown from the north as well as the entrance to prospective UAFS students and parents. The work done on Grand within the campus zone is nice but how much would it ...>> Read the entire comment.

Other places don't upend the lives of 25% of their people

with a new venue because unlike a few here, they realize if people enjoy it when they get there, that's the part that matters.

Always a hidden agenda...then he also bemoans,

that people are so bad to mistrust everything here. May I ask is it me or does Observer never emit even a hint of humanity in his posts? I get shark/prey out of most. Little doubt honest poor people will get herded into the cattle cars just as fast as any thug or druggie as Observer feigns it's best for them much like Anne Wilkes did in the movie 'Misery'. "You're gonna be just fine!" Yes sometime poor do have to move to make way for progress but you put more than smidgen of effort into treating them fairly. Here it's 'We can't give you more than just a few bucks because of the ten thousand times that we're going to spend on what used to be yours.' The Flowers building is big time in the way of the Trolley Plans and he says for 'parking' not to mention how much does it cost to get the tracks to the other end of Garrison? Same guy has a fit right here if money is going to any other part of town. Looks to me like this might just push hard on the cost of a new high school. Should we hire an outside consultant here to make sure we actually do need it?

No Bid Contracts

Pads the pockets of associates and costs the taxpayers a ton of money when pork barrel spending exists at its finest.

Say it ain't so Observer

You guys didn't get out the old code book and binoculars on the Flowers building that was blocking the trolley track expansion back when they still had people working inside there did you? I remember an FOI lawsuit was involved later when the city was being pressured to buy it and I also remember the guy that ran it was an ex Army officer not accustomed to taking a lot. Wondering if there wasn't one straw too many heaped on somehow. Surely not even though it fits the M.O. fairly dang close.

Friends Of The System

Cash leaves no tracks and the current bid process attracts a whole lot of flies.