Sustainable communities to expand in Little Rock

    8:34 PM, Nov 19, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - There's a renewed focus on bringing old parts of Little Rock back to life. Four federal agencies visited Little Rock on Tuesday to discuss how the city is using the Obama Administration's Partnership for Sustainable Communities to improve the downtown area.

    "It's a great opportunity to show that with the right people and with the right location, both the federal government, state government, and the city government can work together and accomplish great things," said Mayor Mark Stodola.

    The project brings together the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (DOA).

    It's called the Low Impact Development Project. The city plans to install rain gardens along Main Street to stop water from going directly into the sewage system.

    "These are the kinds of things that give distinction to a community," Stodola said.

    The Little Rock Public Works Department said they also plan to put in porous sidewalks, which collect and filter rain water.

    "I think whatever we can do to improve this area, will only be received well and only do things to help us," said dentist Gregory Stafford, who works at Downtown Dental. "I think it could really help push Main Street to become what it used to be."

    As a part of creating sustainable communities, the city will continue to bring new businesses into abandoned Main Street buildings. They also plan to spruce up the area.

    "It would make it like the golden days of old time Little Rock when people were out here just because it was beautiful," said Kathleen Tucker, who works at RAO Video on Main Street.

    The bid for the work will open on Thursday. After the city approves it, construction will begin sometime in January and the project should be completed by next fall.

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