Mena Mayor George McKee announced the streets scheduled for overlay during the July City Council Meeting. South Mena Street from Hwy 71 to Holly Street is scheduled to be milled with new overlay. Morgan Avenue from Ransom Road to Dallas Avenue, which has seen dramatic increase in traffic since the opening of the new Mena High School, will also be widened approximately 2 ft. with a new overlay.
McKee also reported the areas that are scheduled for repair from recent flooding through the assistance of FEMA: the bridge on Pickering Avenue adjacent to Mena Insurance Agency, the bridge on Morrow Avenue near Simple Simon’s Pizza and Medlin Insurance; one block of 3rd Street between Port Arthur and Church, and Abner Street. Repairs are also scheduled for the Petros Street bridge near Jeff’s Collision. The City will be reimbursed approximately $300,000 from FEMA in flood repairs.
John Vacca and Gar Eisele also presented a resolution on behalf of the Downtown Partners of ARCO. Vacca commended the commitment of the elected city leaders of Mena who have deemed the importance to beautify and continue to improve Mena Street with sidewalks and lamp posts. Vacca reiterated the importance of Mena Street which serves as the gateway to the Talimena National Scenic Byway and holds the potential to attract tens of thousands of tourists, making it an important economic engine in the community.
Vacca presented a formal resolution declaring the Downtown Partners’, under the auspices of ARCO, support of continued improvements, specifically to bring safe, tourist friendly sidewalks, more lamp posts, and banners along with trees lining the street. The group is also actively seeking in kind grants and donation to augment the City’s efforts.
Eisele personally invited each of the City Leaders to attend a free workshop, Thursday, July 25, being hosted by ARCO and the Arkansas Urban Forestry Council, “Trees Grow Your Business.” The workshop is designed specifically for community leaders, municipal representatives, local organizations and others looking to enhance their community through the addition of trees, which encourage economic development by attracting businesses and visitors, and ultimately increasing a city’s tax base.
Registration is free for the event, thanks to the Arkansas Regional Coalition of the Ouachitas, Downtown Partners, Rich Mountain Community College and its Foundation.
As Eisele told the city leaders, it is they who will ultimately be responsible for making the decisions regarding the Mena Street enhancement, and the Downtown Partners are ready, willing, and able to assist in the task before them.