Mayor Harold Perrin ran through his top projects for 2018 in his State of The City Address at Cooper Alumni Center. It includes widening South Caraway and Harrisburg roads, and adding right-turn deceleration lanes to help traffic flow smoother.
"We're looking at grants, and we're looking at some of the other deals." says Perrin, "We're looking at public/private foundations. We've never done that before, to go call on Kellogg's Foundation...some of those people. And see if they can help us do these things."
Among Mayor Perrin's top priorities is expanding real estate. The city secured $147 million in building permits last year, and created 67 commercial properties, 44 duplex buildings, and more than 300 single family homes.
City officials work to redevelop and gentrify poorer regions of Jonesboro. Police and fire marshals demolished fifty abandoned properties in 2017.
"A majority of those we end up bringing into compliance by working with the homeowners," states Lt. Scott Baxter of the Jonesboro Police Department. "We want those properties to be a positive impact on the neighborhood and the city as a whole."
Micheal Sullivan of the Habitat for Humanity says the organization is working on two constructions to provide homes for Jonesboro's lower-income families. More home donations and volunteer hours will help to make the projects possible.
Sullivan affirms, "You're building communities...you're building neighborhoods. And giving a hand up opportunity not just for the families that are directly going to live there, but for the whole community itself."
Perrin plans to stay true to keeping Jonesboro first, and build partnerships with federal agencies to secure additional city revenue. Also, avoid tax increases for the entire year.