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LOWELL -- The city is thriving with business growth, improved roads, a steady budget and the creation of the Kathleen Johnson Memorial Park, Mayor Eldon Long said Tuesday night during his State of the City address.

Combined city and county tax revenue for Lowell amounted to $4.8 million in 2017, which was nearly $23,000 more than projected, according to documents emailed before the meeting. Long said the city population is expected to exceed 10,000 before 2020.

Council action

Lowell’s City Council met Tuesday and approved:

• Annexing 25 acres just east of city hall, starting at a railroad spike and ending at the center line of North Old Wire Road.

• Accepting the rezoning land at the southeast corner of North Goad Springs Road and Oakwood Street from residential to commercial.

Source: Staff report

How they voted

Lowell’s City Council denied approving Corey Watson Attorneys, Reddick Moss Attorneys and the Arkansas Municipal League and its defense program as counsel for claims against opiod companies.

• Yes: Todd Fenix, Linda Vannoy

• No: Dean Bitner, Thomas Evers, Shawn Cheney, David Adams, Kendell Stucki, Lonnie Jones

Source: Staff report

"The city does a wonderful job, the whole team," said Greg Fogle, who represented the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce board at the meeting. "That's what makes this a great place to live. You don't have to look far to see residential growth and construction."

Seven businesses opened in Lowell in 2017 and 12 more are expected to open in 2018, Long said. Two of the city's new developments are the J.B. Hunt Transport Service towers.

Public works completed seven major projects over the past year, including the Mount Hebron Road improvement and the Bellview waterline projects. The city received FEMA assistance for the Sabre Heights drainage project, which experienced flood damage in December 2016.

Many resurfacing projects are ongoing, Long said. More than half of streets through Lowell subdivisions were overlaid the past few years. The goal is to finish the remaining ones by 2020.

Much progress is expected for the Kathleen Johnson Memorial Park in the coming year.

The city's new fire station at Bellview and Zion roads, within the park, is set to open during the spring. Twelve firefighters were hired last month in anticipation. The new facility is expected to shorten response times, especially to the west side of the city.

Two park grants totaling $787,000 were awarded to Lowell for trail connectivity and trail head development at the park over the course of 2016 and 2017.

A new, 10,000-square-foot facility for the Lowell Historical Museum will be built on the Johnson Memorial Park grounds, Long said. It will house 6,000 square feet of exhibition space, a veteran's appreciation room, a children's learning center, a community room and a cafe. Its large lobby will house the Butterfield stagecoach, and a special rose garden will be made in honor of the late Kathleen Johnson.

City accomplishments aren't the only thing that matter for the quality of life, Long said. The character of its residents matters just as much, he said.

"Being a lifelong resident of Benton County and a Lowell resident for 40 years, there's at least one thing I know about the people of Lowell, Ark.," Long said. "They know where they've come from, what they want, they know where they're going, they are proud of their heritage, familiar with struggles, quick to respond to legitimate needs, unafraid of challenges, optimistic in the face of criticism, strong in the midst of conflict and they embrace the future. They are resilient."

NW News on 02/21/2018

Print Headline: Mayor says Lowell growing, thriving

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