|Updated: 6/17/2012 10:17 am
||Published: 6/16/2012 5:12 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Saturday, Little Rock homeowners opposed to a technology park going up in their neighborhoods revealed alternative sites that won't force people from their homes.
Little Rock has already earmarked $22-million in sales tax revenue for the new park, but, members of the We Shall Not Be Moved group don't want to lose their homes in the process.
"So how do you guys feel about this technology park?" asked Pulaski County Justice of the Peace Donna Massey.
"Not happy about it," said one of her neighbors.
Members of the We Shall Not Be Moved Coalition want the City of Little Rock, and the Little Rock Technology Park Authority Board, to know their homes are not for sale.
"We plan to fight this. We don't plan to stop," says Massey.
But, legally, the City of Little Rock can take their homes by eminent domain and give them the market value of their property. That's not good enough for Massey, who has lived in her Midtown home 13 years.
"When you take someone's property, I mean, there's so much to me that would go into that. I have to move, I have to find a home, you know, relocation. It should be total compensation," says Massey.
Saturday, the group gave FOX16 a tour of eight of the 23 sites it's picked out for the Tech Park. The sites do not require kicking people out of their homes. Some do require businesses to relocate.
Right now, Coalition members say the three sites the Tech Park Board is choosing from involve taking more than one-hundred homes.
"They need to consider these other properties. Not just consider, but they need to purchase one of these other properties," says Massey.
Group members now hope they can convince the City and Board to choose somewhere else to build the park.
"We want people in this community, across the City of Little Rock, to step up and show their support for us, because it could be them next," Massey warns.
Tuesday, Little Rock's Board of Directors will likely vote on two ordinances linked to the Tech Park. The Coalition supports Director Ken Richardson's proposal to stop your tax money from being used on the park if people get kicked out of their homes. And, Vice Mayor Dean Kumpuris would like the Tech Board to do a six month study to look for alternate sites.
NON-RESIDENTIAL ALTERNATE SITES FOR THE TECH PARK:
(From the We Shall Not Be Moved Coalition)
The Clinton Library Park Complex east/south of Heifer International
Lion's International area behind ARKANSAS DEMOCRAT Bldg.
The War Memorial Golf Course
Near US Pizza on University
Asher any place East of Fair Park
The Hodges Property at I-430 & I-30
The Brandon House Property - BUILD UP! (Vacant for 10 years)
The Jerry Meyers Suggestion near UALR (See ARKTIMES BLOG)
Unused Area near Cammack Village in the Heights
Near the Airport - Plenty of options there! (Example: Former Aerospace Education Center/school/library/post office at 3301 E. Roosevelt Road.)
10th Street near the Railway - Dodd Property
The former landfill behind the former Coleman Dairy location south of UALR campus (Could capture the methane gas and convert it into electricity! Now that is technology!)
Behind State Capital west to Whitewater Tavern
Vast Lawn in front of Schools for Deaf and Blind
Ray Winder Field (purchased from City of LR by UAMS). Vacant since 2005-06. Within five minutes of UAMS, Arkansas Children's Hospital, McClellan VA Hospital, UALR and within 10 minutes of downtown investment powerhouse Stephens, Inc.).
University Shopping Center construction site. University Mall was there. Target and other retail outlets are there. Again, within the supposedly important five minute range.
M.M. Cohn/Dillard Shopping Mall property across from MetroCentreMall in downtown Little Rock. It has been vacant for over 20 years. City parking deck nearby. Near Arts Center, Rep, Stephens, Chamber of Commerce, within five minutes of ACH and ten minutes of UAMS, McClellan VA, and UALR campuses.
Former Harvest Foods planned community development tract at Highway 10 and Taylor Loop Road in West Little Rock. Vacant for years.
Affiliated Foods distribution center (closed following 2009 bankruptcy). Employed 530 people before closing. Located in a commercial area badly in need of research and technology presence. Five minutes from UALR. Ten minutes from UAMS.
West Little Rock Office Park, Rodney Parham Road near Windstream. It is an office park!
Unused All-Tel buildings in Riverdale following Verizon merger.