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Board to consider $6M loan to fund several Little Rock projects

Plans include improvements to parks by Joseph Flaherty | July 5, 2021 at 3:37 a.m.
FILE — Little Rock City Hall is shown in this 2019 file photo.

Members of the Little Rock Board of Directors are being asked to approve a nearly $6 million short-term financing note to pay for a number of different projects and acquisitions.

They are scheduled to vote on an ordinance authorizing issuance of the note at a board meeting Tuesday on the campus of Philander Smith College.

Asked by City Director Antwan Phillips during a June 29 meeting about what the city will do with the money, City Manager Bruce Moore listed some of the initiatives.

[DOCUMENT: Read the proposed Little Rock ordinance » arkansasonline.com/75lr78/]

He said the projects include improvements at MacArthur Park "that are in line with improvements going on at the [Arkansas] Museum of Fine Arts," adding, "So that will make sure both projects look consistent and ready to open up next year."

Museum officials last month said they needed more time to prepare the building and grounds. As a result, they pushed back the museum's expected opening date from May 2022 to the fall of next year.

The overhaul of the museum, previously known as the Arkansas Arts Center, has been underway since it closed for construction in 2019.

The note also includes money for police and fire mobile radios, a new playground at MacArthur Park and $750,000 toward a newfire truck, Moore explained.

Other improvements will take place at Kanis and Interstate parks, and additional property will be acquired at the West Central Community Center.

According to the text of the ordinance, money for a parking lot and basketball courts at Kanis Park is expected to come from the note. The ordinance also lists the reconstruction of Interstate Park Drive.

Mayor Frank Scott Jr. suggested during a recent meeting that the developments at Kanis Park will be "very pleasing to that community and those sports users at one of the more historic areas of the city, as it relates to basketball."

The principal amount of the proposed promissory note is $5,925,000.

Interest on the principal amount is not to exceed 5% annually, according to the ordinance's language. The loan will be repaid in five annual installments starting one year from the date of the note, with the final installment due five years afterward.

A lender is to be selected by the mayor or city manager after soliciting proposals from at least three lenders with offices in the city, according to the text of the ordinance.

Print Headline: Board to consider $6M loan to fund several LR projects

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