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.