The Arkansas Highway Commission has scheduled a series of regional public meetings in the first quarter of 2020.
The purpose of these meetings is to educate and inform the public while soliciting input regarding proposed projects that could be funded by a continuation of the temporary half-cent sales tax. A total of 12 meetings have been scheduled, the earliest of which will be held January 21 in Monticello. Other meetings are planned in West Memphis, Harrison, Texarkana, Mena, Fort Smith, Hot Springs, Maumelle, Springdale, Batesville, Jonesboro and El Dorado (see page 5 for specific dates and locations).
These meetings will consist of an open house session where attendees can view displays and visit with Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) staff. This will be followed by a brief formal presentation on the current funding and condition of the Arkansas Highway System as well as the impact that continuation of the half-cent sales tax would have in funding system preservation and new capital projects moving forward.
In early 2019, Governor Hutchinson announced his highway funding legislative package that resulted in Act 416 and a proposed Constitutional Amendment, House Joint Resolution 1018. Act 416 provides revenue from motor fuel taxes, electric and hybrid vehicle registration fees, and casinos resulting in an estimated $95 Million in new funding to ARDOT. If the constitutional amendment is approved by voters, it will provide an additional estimated $205 Million annually to ARDOT and an estimated $43 million each to cities and counties.
Citizens with an interest in learning more about the Governor’s proposed highway program are encouraged to attend one of these 12 regional public meetings. Each of the meetings will be identical in format and presentation material. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to the Commission and ARDOT Director Scott E. Bennett, P.E.