Multiple economic development reports were presented to members of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County Tuesday afternoon.

Multiple economic development reports were presented to members of the Economic Development Corporation of Clark County Tuesday afternoon.
Grace Yin of Sun Bio recently visited Arkadelphia, according to Stephen Bell, president/CEO of the Arkadelphia Regional Economic Development Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce.
During Yin’s visit, a discussion was held regarding the memorandum of understanding between the City of Arkadelphia and Sun Bio for the construction and operation of the water and sewer portion of the Sun Bio mill.
“That’s going to be owned and controlled by the City of Arkadelphia,” said Bell.
According to Bell, the water and sewer facility for the Sun Bio project is eligible for $75-million in state bonds through the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission. In order to receive the funds, Sun Bio has to use a public facility, which is the City of Arkadelphia.
“Their concern was, since this is a large water and sewer system that’s critical to the operation of the mill, they wanted to have the ability to select the engineer to design the facility and they wanted their employees to be able to operate the facility,” Bell said.
Because the facility is a public facility, Bell said the public, which is the City of Arkadelphia, has to have some involvement in the planning.
“It is still a work in progress. We got a lot of work done on it. I think Sun Bio is very pleased how the MOU is coming out,” said Bell.
Although the MOU is not a legal document, Bell said it does outline the roles of specific entities involved in the project.
“There will be a formal contract between the city and Sun Bio when they actually start operation on the facility,” Bell explained.
In addition, Bell said Yin met with the local representatives regarding title and commercial insurance and toured the site where the Sun Bio mill will be built.
“We also did the soil borings on the landfill site,” said Bell.
According to Bell, concerns recently surfaced that the soil for the landfill site was sandy. Based on the results, the soil is not sandy, but a fatty clay.
“That’s good. I think we’re going to proceed with doing a Phase I Environmental Study of the landfill. It looks like we have a good site,” Bell explained.
 
Site visit
• Bell reported that an industry recently made a site visit to Arkadelphia.
According to Bell, the company wants to use the leftover timber parts to produce jet fuel.
Bell said the company would produce 44 jobs.
“You only need a two-year Associate Degree. It really looked good for us because they were interested in Sun Bio coming in,” Bell said.
Arkadelphia is one of several cities in Arkansas competing for the project. Other states besides Arkansas are also being considered.
 
Other projects
• Bell reported another project referral through the Metro Little Rock Alliance.
The company will provide 1,500 jobs with an average wage of $40,000. The Arkadelphia Alliance plans to submit information for the project.
 
Arkadelphia Poultry Plant
• Bell stated Alliance staff has remained in contact with the new owners of the poultry plant.
“They have a guy that comes in and turns the power on. The Alliance mowed the grass at the poultry plant. The new owners plan to start cutting the grass and doing the weed eating.
 
Intermodal Authority
• Bell reported that the Southwest Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority and Clark County Industrial Council had applied for an additional EDA grant.
Although the grant has not been awarded, Greg Aug of the SWARIA said the EDA is in favor of proceeding.
“We have made it through the first phase of the application process, and they have given the green-light to go ahead for $1.3 million in additional funding,” said Aud.