Mena will be the site of a public meeting hosted by the Arkansas Department of Transportation (ArDOT) on February 11 at the Ouachita Center on the campus of University of Arkansas Rich Mountain. The meeting is one of 12 across the state. The purpose of the meetings that will begin later this month is to give feedback to ArDOT on the proposed extension of the half-cent sales tax and the projects funded by the tax. Attendees will have the opportunity to take a look at displays, speak with ArDOT staff, as well as interact with ArDOT Director Scott Bennett. The meetings will include a brief formal presentation on the condition of the state highway system and how extending the sales tax would impact the state highway system.
The existing tax generates nearly $300 million annually. ArDOT receives $205 million of the $300 million while $43 million is allocated to cities and $43 million to counties. The tax extension will be on the November ballot.
Following are the dates and locations for the public meetings, and all of the meetings start at 5:30 p.m.:
• Jan. 21, UAM Fine Arts Center, 371 University Drive, Monticello
• Jan. 23, The Academies of West Memphis — Performing Arts Center, 501 W. Broadway, West Memphis
• Jan. 28, Harrison High School — Performing Arts Center, 925 Goblin Drive, Harrison
• Jan. 30, Trinity Baptist Church, 3115 Trinity Boulevard, Texarkana
• Feb. 11, U of A Rich Mountain — Ouachita Center, 1100 College Drive, Mena
• Feb. 13, The Blue Lion, 101 N. Second St., Fort Smith
• Feb. 20, Crossgate Church, 3100 E. Grand Ave., Hot Springs
• March 9, Jess Odom Community Center — Gymnasium, 1100 Edgewood Drive, Maumelle
• March 10, The Jones Center, 922 E. Emma Ave., Springdale
• March 12, UACCB — Independence Hall, Batesville
• March 31, ASU — 1st National Bank Arena — Auditorium, 217 Olympic Drive, Jonesboro
• April 2, El Dorado Municipal Auditorium, 100 W. Eighth St., El Dorado