By Martin Couch
Bryant Alderman Brenda Miller thinks that the Saline County FairPlex proposal can be a benefit to Bryant.
After viewing plans of the proposed site where the existing county fairgrounds are, and listening to Benton Advertising and Promotion Committee member Alan Jessup explain the details of the two-and-a-half year project, Miller thinks it would be a promising idea for the economic development of the county.[more]
"Any kind of economic development for Saline County is great," Miller said. "The 330 full-time jobs is wonderful with the restaurants and hotels getting lots of use, as well. The retail sales will help everyone in the county."
The proposed FairPlex is projected to bring in an annual rate of 300,000 people to the county from concerts, equestrian events, Arkansas Activities Association sports, rodeos, and the Saline County Fair, to name a few. There are also plans for community event areas within the complex that can be used to serve all activities from wedding receptions and family reunions to club meetings and graduations.
"I like the idea of the FairPlex, but the request for a new tax at this time could be a struggle for the voters to favorably support it," Miller said.
There is a planned special election to see if voters in the county will pass a 1-cent sales tax to support the construction of the FairPlex bonds that will be used. The tax is temporary and will be set to expire within five to seven years of the passing vote, if not earlier. The special election is set for Aug. 10.
"We will see in August what the voters of Saline County desire," Miller said.