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Council updated on EDO activities

By Staff, 02/19/20 9:04 AM

PRESCOTT – Prescott’s City Council was told the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office generated around $600,000 in grant money during 2019.

Mary Godwin, executive director of the EDO, gave the panel a rough sketch of the EDO’s 2019 activities during its February meeting Tuesday night.

She pointed out the EDO, working with the Southwest Arkansas Development Alliance, received a state and national award for its youth manufacturing conference in October. The conference had 25 manufacturers on hand to showcase their companies and tell eighth grade students from eight counties in SWAR what would be expected of them should they want a job with any of them.

Firestone, she said, continues to rent several buildings on the Potlatch property for storage. She told the panel this year is Firestone’s 50th year in Prescott and is something the community needs to celebrate.

She reminded the council RedStone Construction leased part of the Potlach property as a base for its I-30 construction project and added work on the interstate should be done in the next few months.

Godwin talked about Leadership Nevada County and how it holds class every other year with the next one scheduled for 2021. The 2019 class, she said, had one team redo the lights in the Nevada Rescue Unit while the other raised money for a touchdown bell at Cummings Stadium.

In addition, she continued, the EDO sponsors an annual business appreciation golf tournament as a way to thank business and industry for its continued support of the community. This year’s tourney, she told the panel will be May 21 at the Prescott Country Club and will again feature an evening meal after a day of golf.

In talking about the grants, she pointed out three primary ones received. The Oak Grove Community got a grant for $75,000 to help renovate a former school building and turn it in to a community center. Prescott received a water and sewer grant in the amount of $199,987 to replace water lines on West Walnut and water and sewer lines on West Olive. Prescott also received a sidewalk grant for $129,000 for new sidewalks on West First from the Department of Human Services to Cash Savers on both sides of Hwy. 67. The Laneburg Volunteer Fire Department got a grant for $14,237 to build a new fire station. The land for the new 40×48 building has been cleared, but the recent rains have slowed construction.

The EDO, she said, was also involved in a photo contest sponsored by the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District, and assisted the Nevada County Depot and Museum with a Civil War reenactment on the Prairie D’Ane Battlefield last February.

In addition, she said, the EDO works with the Prescott and Nevada school districts on Arbor Day, with each district getting a new tree on alternate years.

Work, she said, continues on getting the Potlatch property cleaned up. However, she told the panel, it’s been slow and done piece-meal. The new idea is to have a massive clean up effort done to get it done in one fell swoop.

Once Godwin finished talking about the EDO’s year, the HGTV contest video was shown to the council. Godwin said 5,000 communities across the nation submitted entries for the “makeover” to be done for the winner.

She also talked to the council about the annual mowing bids. Two companies bid on the project with William Colbert submitting the low bid for the downtown mowing project at $290 each time mowing is done. This is the same price as last year. The same two companies bid on the D’Ane Cemetery mowing project, but the winner for it will be determined by the Cemetery Foundation.

Godwin said she’ll be going over census information at the council’s March meeting as 2020 is a census year. She pointed out the county loses $33,000 per person not counted over the 10-year period of the census. Census forms should be arriving in the mail around the middle of March.