Letter to the Editor

Citizens deserve answers on ART money

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

To the editor:

Blytheville represents approximately 34 percent of the county population. Therefore, the Mississippi County economic development trust fund has a particular interest to the citizens of Blytheville.

It is apparent that BGRAA has an unusual interest in the ART corporation in that the rent for all of the ART facilities are being paid from the economic development trust fund, and of course, this goes directly into the pockets of BGRAA. This equates to the fact that there could not be too much concern about the fulfillment of the county-BGRAA-ART contract on meeting the requirements toward providing a particular number of jobs by a certain date, due to the fact that BGRAA's rent payment would stop, should the ART corporation fail to meet the requirements of the contract.

By all indicates, the ART corporation did not meet the requirements of the contract at a certain set date and that the county Quorum Court moved the date up to the end of the year of 2013. No news has been made public as to whether or not the ART corporation met the second date limit.

Since the citizens of Blytheville are paying approximately $61,000 of this yearly rent bill, it would only be fair if the citizens were told whether they are getting any economic development return for their dollars spent.

It is only fair that governments keep their citizens informed as to where and how their tax dollars are spent.

Ray Clouse