June 21, 2017 Edition

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Housing is major need for
continued growth in LawCo.

Custom-Pak plant manager Andrew McDonnough (left) visits with Dr. Brett Cooper, chair of the Lawrence County Chamber Economic Development Committee, about the need for more employees, which is being hampered by a lack of available housing in the county. The Lawrence County Steering Committee and the Chamber hosted a housing forum on June 14 to discuss the housing shortage.
TD Photo ~ Megan Heyl

The Lawrence County Steering Committtee hosted a housing forum on June 14 in Black Rock with assistance from the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

"The steering committee, after looking at the county's strategic plan, felt like housing was a place to put some focus," Emily Hathcock with the East Arkansas Planning and Development District said.

Hathcock serves as a facilitator for the steering committee, which is made up of representatives from throughout the county.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said the county is poised to see a growth in population, something that would be good to see happen before the next census.

WR council discusses medical marijuana

The Walnut Ridge City Council discussed the potential of facilities related to the medical marijuana industry being established in the city.

During Monday night's meeting, Mayor Charles Snapp said he has been approached regarding three cultivation facilities and one dispensary. While surveying prospective land for the businesses, Snapp said he treated it like any other opportunity for growth.

However, there are laws requiring minimum distances of these types of facilities from churches, schools and day cares. With a minimum of 1,500 feet for dispensaries and 3,000 for cultivation facilities, there are very few places in town that would legally house one.

LawCo. receives FEMA declaration

Lawrence County is one of several counties that received a federal disaster declaration on Thursday.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Arkansas to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding beginning on April 26 and May 19.

The president's action makes federal funding available to assist individuals who were affected by the storms in Lawrence, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Faulkner, Fulton, Jackson, Pulaski, Randolph, Saline, Washington and Yell counties.

WR sanitation carts will be issued starting July 5

Beginning July 5, Walnut Ridge residents will start receiving new dolly-style garbage carts to be used for their household waste.

These 96-gallon carts will replace all other containers used for sanitation pickup. Each residential unit with a water meter will receive a city-owned cart, which will be the only container picked up after July 10.

Carts will be linked to the address via a serial number and will remain with the address. Any damage incurred on the carts is the responsibility of the resident.

Walter is new director of LawCo. Chamber

Lesa Walter of Walnut Ridge has been hired as director of the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce.

"It has been several years since the chamber has had a director, and in recent years Chamber Executive Assistant Kathy Bradley assumed many of the duties of a director," Gretchen Hunt, Chamber Board chair, said. "With Kathy's passing, the board made a decision to hire a director, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the Chamber, as well as complete the secretarial duties."

Work continues at Hoxie development

The Hoxie Commerce Street development is progressing as the city moves forward on improving drainage at the site, which will be marketed based on its proximity to Hwy. 63 and Hwy. 67.

Mayor Lanny Tinker told aldermen at the June 13 meeting that the north end of the development will receive a 90-foot tile and the south end will require an encasement. The work will cost $10,400, according to Tinker.

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