The state of LR | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, May 1, 2008

The state of LR

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2008 at 2:19 PM

Mayor Mark Stodola delivered his second State of the City Address today at the Willie Hinton Resource Center. At the top  of the agenda: fighting crime, including the announcement of a $1.8  million dollar project that would locate a new police substation in the old Safeway store at Cedar and 12th.

Among the crime statistics Stodola had to crow over: 10.6 percent  reduction in violent crime in 2007 (and a 26.83 percent reduction so far this year); 2.45 percent reduction in property crimes, and a 9.63  percent reduction in burglaries. All that, and the hiring of 44 new police officers since the last SotC Address.

Further down the bill, Stodola found time to talk about the record  $400 million in construction investment the city has seen in the last year, code enforcement, community renovation/rehabilitation projects in the inner city, the need for more community resource hubs like the Hinton Center, and ongoing commitment to big-ticket parks and recreation projects like the Riverfront playground, the Bill Clark Wetlands Park and a downtown "pocket park" on Broadway.

Stodola said that he intends "to talk straight and  honestly to our citizens about how tight our revenue sources are," and let them know that continuing improvements to the city will  require finding additional revenue, which has been elusive in recent years. To find that extra funding, Stodola promised to work with city board to make city operations "as lean as an Olympic marathon runner."

-- David Koon

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