LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Highway Commission has scheduled a series of regional public meetings in the first quarter of 2020. The purpose of these meetings is to educate and inform the public while soliciting input regarding proposed projects that could be funded by a continuation of the temporary half-cent sales tax.
Two meetings will be held in Mena and in Fort Smith.
The meeting in Mena will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at U of A Rich Mountain Ouachita Center, located at 1100 College Drive.
The meeting in Fort Smith will be held Thursday, Feb. 13, at 5:30 p.m., at The Blue Lion, located at 101 N. 2nd Street.
This meeting will consist of an open house session where attendees can view displays and visit with Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) staff. This will be followed by a brief formal presentation on the current funding and condition of the Arkansas Highway System as well as the impact that continuation of the half-cent sales tax would have in funding system preservation and new capital projects moving forward.
In early 2019, Governor Hutchinson announced his highway funding legislative package that resulted in Act 416 and a proposed Constitutional Amendment, House Joint Resolution 1018. Act 416 provides revenue from motor fuel taxes, electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees, and casinos resulting in an estimated $95 Million in new funding to ARDOT. If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters, it will provide an additional estimated $205 Million annually to ARDOT and an estimated $43 million each to cities and counties.
Citizens with an interest in learning more about the Governor’s proposed highway program are encouraged to attend this regional public meeting. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to the Commission and ARDOT Director Scott E. Bennett, P.E.