City receives $200K matching grant for downtown park

The City of Jonesboro has received a grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism to spend $200,000 for a new neighborhood park downtown, Mayor Harold Perrin announced today.

The match requires a 50-percent match by the City, and Perrin already earmarked $100,000 in the 2021 budget for the City’s half. The plan is to create a grassy space with trees and space for people to gather, relax and enjoy the outdoors at the empty lot on the southwest corner of Union and Monroe streets.

“With all the growth we are seeing downtown, from the promising prospects for the former Citizens Bank building to the new street lighting and development on Union, this is just perfect,” Perrin said. “Gov. Hutchinson and the Department of Parks and Tourism have really given us the opportunity to do something special with that space.”

Situated next to the NEA United Way headquarters and the Winter Wonderland facility, and near to new housing developments, the site is “a perfect accessible location for green space that families, residents and visitors can enjoy,” said Grants and Community Development Director Regina Burkett, who wrote the grant application. “There are no current amenities like this downtown.”

The City Council approved Jonesboro’s match for the grant by resolution in June. Parks and Recreation Director Danny Kapales has been working on plans for the park, and said West Monroe Avenue will be closed permanently between Union and Madison streets once the park is opened.

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