Pine Bluff council to vote on Merrill Building upgrades

    10:30 PM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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    PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - Pine Bluff city leaders are getting ready to vote on a major upgrade to a long-time community center in town.

    On the agenda Tuesday night, the city council will consider spending about $450,000 to remodel the Merrill Building, a deteriorating community center along South Ash Street.

    Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said improvements could include fixing the roof hit by a storm, re-surfacing basketball courts and creating more space inside for structured activities, like mentoring and computer labs. The mayor and a direct neighbor that THV11 spoke with feel this neighborhood, in particular, needs these improvements.

    "I think it's a wonderful idea. The kids? That's all we got around here, and I think that would be a good investment for our kids," Neighbor Tonya Boston said.

    "What better way for us to invest our money than to invest it into a facility in a particular neighborhood where structured activity is desperately needed," Mayor Hollingsworth said.

    Most other neighbors THV11 talked to off-camera were in favor of this remodeling, but one resident said that she'd like to see the city put the money into area parks instead.
    Hollingsworth said, if approved, this $450,000 would come from the "Penny for Progress" city sales tax increase that voters approved a few years ago.

    If you want to go, Tuesday's night's meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Pine Bluff City Hall. Mayor Hollingsworth said the council will be getting a recommendation for the remodeling from the city's Parks and Recreation Commission.

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