The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors heard concerns on several current issues in the community following the conclusion of their June 4 meeting.

The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors heard concerns on several current issues in the community following the conclusion of their June 4 meeting.
Harley Martinelli, a Westgate Circle resident, was given five minutes to speak and used the time to its fullest.
Continuing the topic of the night -the Phase II study for the old Ouachita Bridge-Martinelli explained that he did not speak from either side in the open forum as he had not taken a stand on the issue.
“There’s not a lot of information that seems to be coming out, or I’m just missing the information,” said Martinelli.
Although echoing others’ concerns of destroying anything old, Martinelli’s concerns focused more on monetary issues.
“I am quite concerned with the money and the budget of our city,” Martinelli continued. “This has been discussed by several of the board members. Number one, where is this money going to come from? It’s not really been that clear. Also, how is this going to work with the other projects that we’re going to be facing within the next five years? Where are we at on this Sun Paper? And where are we at on the prospects of the bypass that we’ve been talking about for over a couple of years?," Martinelli asked.
Martinelli also brought up concerns raised by directors Jason Jones and Roland Gosey during the official meeting.
“We have city streets that are atrocious and in terrible shape. Where are we at on that? Is there any plans on doing anything there," said Martinelli.
In addition, Martinelli mentioned the future Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, which is another project for the city.
"Are we just going to leave bare dirt there and not get it sodded in and make it something nice that the community can use, especially the elderly and especially the kids. What is the plans for the park? Is there going to be playground equipment, is it going to be just a rest area where trees are planted?,” Martinelli asked.
Returning to the bridge, Martinelli said he would like to see it remain, if feasible. Drawing to its underwater condition, he said it was supposed to be “pretty good.”
“Well, what’s ‘pretty good?’ Is it going to stand? Is there anything else that’s going to have to be done to it?," he asked.
In the event that the bridge comes down, Martinelli inquired as to how the surrounding area would be blocked off and, again, where the money would come from.
“I know the city has not got all that much money from the last time I heard a budget. So, there’s a lot of projects on our plate right now. I, as a citizen, want to know where’s our priorities. We’re going to have to set priorities. To me, streets should come first. Then, we go from there,” said Martinelli, who also addressed the future of the youth sports complex.
“We have put in, if my information is correct, somewhere around $6-8 million into that," said Martinelli.
He questioned whether the city was getting what it should from the park and whether patrons were being charged to park for events.
"The last I heard, the only thing we were getting as far as income coming in was the concession and that’s not very much. And right now, there’s people who come into town and they’re staying out in Caddo Valley. They’re not staying in Arkadelphia. Now, the new hotel is going to be a big plus,” Martinelli said.
A resident of Arkadelphia since 1983, Martinelli said he loves the community but more progress should be happening.
“There is no reason why the city of Arkadelphia should not be moving forward. Now, I think we’re moving forward in a lot of ways. But we are located right on I-30, we are centrally located from Hot Springs, we’ve got a beautiful lake out here, we have two fine major colleges. There is no reason why this city should not be moving forward at a double pace. We’ve got so much here to offer the people but one thing we’ve got to do is we have got to look at programs that will keep our young people here that make Arkadelphia their home.”