Camden- The Arkansas Black Mayors Association, in partnership with NCRS, submitted infrastructure projects to be funded. This includes a $95.9 million investment for 19 projects in Arkansas. USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Chief Terry Cosby announced on April 21, 2022 at the Forrest City Civic Center. “These investments will help protect communities and their residents in Arkansas impacted by floods, natural disasters, and other watershed-scale resource concerns,” Cosby said.
Camden Mayor Julian Lott, the Arkansas Black Mayors Association president, said, “We are so grateful for the collaboration of this magnitude and local leaders responding in record time. This effort will impact our state’s health, safety, and economy. We look forward to what lies ahead.” (Mayor Simon is a member of the ABMA and assisted by providing information about the recent flooding in Dumas.)
El Dorado Mayor Veronica Smith-Creer stated, “It is often said, but we must realize that it truly requires teamwork to make things happen! I am both proud and grateful for the collaboration established to ensure the assistance of so many cities! The work that has been done is a fraction of what is to come! We are better together!”
Arkansas Black Mayor’s Association worked with each community providing technical assistance to the communities that will be funded. The following communities will receive funding: City of Altheimer, Blytheville, Camden, Cotton Plant, Dumas, El Dorado, Eudora, Forrest City, Haynes, Marianna, Fountain Hill, Fulton, Hughes, Jennette, Madison, Menifee, Pine Bluff, Stamps, Lewisville, Turrell, and Wilmot.
First, we are grateful for the strategic collaborative efforts of our federal, state, and local leaders. Wilmot Mayor Harris stated, “This award is an enormous win for the State of Arkansas and, more specifically, our rural communities.” Cities and towns can now address critical infrastructure issues that have impacted the lives of families in our communities for decades.
The Arkansas Black Mayors Association (ABMA), established in 1972, is a non-profit, charitable, and educational organization whose primary purpose is to 1) promote and develop programs to improve educational, economic, health, and social levels of citizens residing within the respective jurisdictions served by the members; 2) enhance the quality of life for the residents of the municipalities served by the membership; and 3) provide a mechanism for cooperation and the exchange of ideas among the members in areas of common concern and interest. Currently, there are 58 black Mayors’ serving over 460,000 citizens throughout the state of Arkansas.
Special Note: Mayor Simon appreciates the assistance of Linna Jones of the Dumas Clarion for providing photos of the flooded areas that were provided as support documents.