Pine Bluff URA discusses plan revisions and updates on current projects

By Deseray McKinzy

The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency held its monthly meeting Tuesday evening and approved several actions that were included on the agenda to be voted upon. The meeting was conducted with the commissioner’s Jimmy Dim, Rita Conley, Travis Martin, Lloyd Franklin, Sr., Kirby Mouser, and the executive director of PBURA Maurice Taggart.

The approval actions included a housing development agreement to lease downtown properties to the city. Those properties are located from 3rd & pine to 4th & walnut. The agency commissioners also approved a revision of the URA plan in sections 700 and 900. Section 700 focuses on Property Acquisition Procedures and acquisition procedure (A) requires the City Council’s ratification for acquisition that requires the Agency’s powers of eminent domain. Section 900 included Amendments to the Urban Renewal Plan (B) which also required the approval of the city council to those amendments.

URA Attorney, Cody Kees, further explained what this means and how legally this option would be best for the agency,

The commissioners voted to amend and revise those sections and also revise previous acquisitions that have already been acted upon under the previous requirements.

Taggart also announced to the committee that they currently have 31 scheduled, 15 in progress, 9 rescheduled, and 16 completed demolitions in their areas. The committee also fulfilled a code enforcement officer specifically for the areas that URA covers and secured a location for the go-kart track at 2100 Harding. Other projects like the movie theater and fun park are still in progress of development with intentions to get things started in May.