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$5k Rock Becoming Center of Attention in Arkadelphia

The way one central Arkansas town is spending money has some people there questioning the city's methods. Criticism of one recent purchase has them wanting answers.
ARKADELPHIA, AR - In the presence of a "6pc hot bites" marquee, street signs and an auto-parts store sits, seemingly out of place, a rock. A huge, lone rock.

The single piece of Earth has garnered quite a bit of attention in Arkadelphia.

You can't miss it but it's also become an unfortunate target of comments and pictures on Facebook.

People have joked about what it's for. It even has its very own Facebook page where it has friends and is in a "complicated relationship." You could probably assume that's with some people in town.

"It's just placed in a very odd spot," said Courtney Taylor. She just can't quite figure it out. "It's causing a blind spot."

The City of Arkadelphia announced it on their Facebook page as part of Phase Three of the "Downtown Streetscape" project. It's a community wide effort to better this area of Arkadelphia.

Taylor admitted, "They've done a great job downtown rebuilding it and making it beautiful."

But when it comes to this rock and how much it cost she's just not so sure.

"Especially at a five thousand dollar price tag," she remarked.

Yes, the city confirmed the rock cost $5,000.

The real slab of rock is from Clarksville. In fact, it beat out two other rocks to be the lucky one included in this project.

The efforts are thanks to and paid for in part by the Arkadelphia 2025 Commission. The commission was formed to focus on what the town wants to be in 2025. Promoting a vibrant downtown was high on the list.

And to be fair to the rock not everyone shares a negative sentiment.

"I'm excited about what this part of town is gonna look like," said nearby non-profit owner, Beverly Hankins. "When they get finished."

Apparently "when it's finished" is key here. It's a work in progress.

The city says it plans for this lonely guy to be a "Welcoming into historic Downtown Arkadelphia." It will eventually include shrubbery, trees and lighting.

Exactly what else though has yet to be etched in stone.
 
So until then, it's undeniably just a large rock.
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