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Authority asks county's help to seek aid for park

Authority asks county's help to seek aid for park

November 21st, 2017 by Jim Williamson in Texarkana Region

Smith Park was described as a "pearl" for Miller County with the potential for recreational activities in the southern portion of the county, according to members of the

South Miller County Rural Development Authority.

The authority asked the Quorum Court on Monday to help apply for grants to improve and maintain the park.

Smith Park has 320 acres about 15 miles south of Texarkana, Ark. The park is adjacent to more than 17,000 acres of wildlife management area.

"The park is a pearl and it's time to re-polish the pearl," said Bill Poynter, a member of the authority.

Deryl Jones, chairman of the authority, urged the Quorum Court to consider helping with applying for matching local, state and federal grants to improve the park and maintain it.

"I'm getting old and it is a few years before the Lord takes me home. Do something for Miller County," Jones said.

Potential industry makes decisions to locate in a region based on spots with recreational facilities, educational facilities, roads, railroads and hospitals, Jones said.

"We do not have running water or sewage, but if the county and the authority works together, all of these issues could be addressed," he said.

"We need to work together and apply for the grants through parks and recreation, natural resources and others we just need to get together and make a plan," Jones said.

District 9 Quorum Court member John Haltom described the park as beautiful.But he suggested the authority to prepare a plan to make repairs and maintain it.

District 6 Justice of the Peace Ernest Pender also agreed with Haltom on developing a plan for repairs and maintenance.

The Quorum Court has $131,500 earmarked for the park.

Haltom suggested a resolution be prepared for the Dec. 18 Quorum Court meeting. The resolution would support the authority in its process of applying for funding.

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