Taxes, Gas and Hungry Children

By Amber Kruth

Tax Vote Coming

The Fayetteville School District is still searching for ways to cover financing for the renovation and expansion of Fayetteville High School. A 4.9-mill increase was defeated last September, however government funding and a $2.5 million budget cut by the school board will pay for phase one. Recently a one-time government bond was offered and will save the district more than $29 million dollars in interest to pay for phase two. To accept this bond, the district needs a repayment plan, which will be feasible with a 2.9-mill increase that Fayetteville residents will vote on in September. Essentially, this would be about an additional $4.58 a month in property taxes per $100,000 home value.

The Natural State Indeed

Arkansas is the Natural State for more than one reason. Arkansas is ranked seventh in the nation for natural gas production. As reported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Arkansas drove into the top 10 of gas producing states in 2008. The majority of the state’s resources are tapped in the Fayetteville Shale of the Arkoma Basin near Conway. Two leaders in this harvesting operation are Southwestern Energy and Chesapeake Energy.

No. 1 In Hungry Children

The Arkansas News Bureau renounced the results of a USDA Economic Research Service report that ranked Arkansas as the top state with children going hungry. The test analyzed how many children were “food insecure,” meaning they were uncertain where their next meal would come from. The report stated that nearly 40,000 more Arkansas children are going hungry this year compared to last year.

In The Black

Arkansas skidded through its fiscal year in the black this year, ending with $23.7 million left in the $4.4 billion budget. This result is primarily credited to Gov. Mike Beebe’s budget cuts of $206 million, with cuts in spending and layoffs across the state. It’s not easy for the state to cut finances and jobs in such a tight economy, but it’s good to know the sacrifice makes an impact.

New Mango

The newly opened Orange Mango, the fruit and frozen yogurt delight on Dickson Street, is already expanding. A second location is due to open warm weather season next year in Nelson’s Crossing Shopping Center, the plaza off the intersection of Joyce Boulevard and College Avenue.

Bikes, Babe and Boom

Bikes, Babes, & Bling came and went over the July 4th weekend. If you didn’t travel to Dickson Street, you may have thought the few groups of bikers seen on the road were just homage to the holiday. Organizers estimated attendance at 4,000 to 5,000, a favorable turnout for a first year event that was drowned out by a steady rain on Saturday.

Big New Store

A new 30,000-square-foot building called the Garland Avenue Center will be the new home of the University of Arkansas Bookstore. Relocating to the new space are the textbook department, the computer store, the Razorback Shop and the lab supply shop. The new space will open on July 26 and will also house some brand new perks including a coffee and tea shop, a card shop, athletic stores, a Clinique cosmetics counter and an OfficeMax school supply store.

Categories: Features