BY MELANIE BUCK –
Hatfield Town Council held an informative meeting on Tuesday, February 16th, to identify and prioritize their community needs and determine if an application for an Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program (ACEDP) should be developed and if so, for what community need.
The meeting was a requirement of a grant from the Community Development Block Grant Program. With a little over a dozen citizens present, it was decided that the grant would be pursued for the purpose of repairing Buddy Bean Drive from Highway 71 to Highway 246. Along with resurfacing about 2,800 feet of the road, there is also a bridge replacement planned. Hatfield Mayor Linda Denton said the bridge was built in the 1930’s and was damaged several years ago in a car accident. Greg Vaughn of Vaughn Engineering said the bridge is almost to the point of closure.
If approved, Tracy McKenna of Western Arkansas Planning and Development District, who also assisted in writing the proposed grant, will take bids on the project. The project would come in two phases, with phase one resurfacing the northern most 1,000 feet of the road and replacement of the old bridge. The grant applied for would give the Town of Hatfield $200,000 to complete phase one. The total project is expected to cost over $500,000 however, there is no timeline on the project as of yet. “We’ve wanted to get the project underway for several years but we were waiting on a utility company to finish install lines adjacent to the project and now they are done,” said Mayor Denton. She added they would know if the grant was approved or rejected by the end of March.