Jonesboro Sees Increase In Building Permits

by Michael Wilkey (mwilkey[email protected]) 66 views 

The sales tax revenue report was down somewhat in May, but that hasn’t stopped people from wanting to build in Jonesboro, Mayor Harold Perrin told council members Tuesday night.

Perrin said the city issued about $13.7 million in building permits during May, with the number steadily going up.

Nearly three-quarters of the permits were in commercial permits, Perrin said. The mayor also said the city has averaged between $12 and $15 million a month for permits in the past year or so.

Perrin expects the numbers to continue to grow, possibly surpassing the $163 million in permits issued in 2014.

The growth has happened in the area along U.S. 49 North near NEA Baptist Medical Center, Perrin said.

In addition to the hospital, several restaurants and businesses have built along U.S. 49 which links Jonesboro to Paragould.

However, the growth has not been limited to restaurants and businesses.

Officials with Haag Brown Commercial also announced last week that a five-story, 106-room Courtyard by Marriott would be built on a little over two acres of land across from the hospital.

As for the sales tax drop and building permits going up, there may be some correlation, officials said. In May, the city brought in $1,295,700.07 – a 6% drop from the same amount collected in May 2014.

At the time, officials cited the wet weather during the spring for the drop. Perrin said the city also saw a drop in April, with only about $10 million in permits issued.

Council members also heard from city grants coordinator Heather Clark Tuesday night.

Clark said the city has nearly $19 million in active grants for city projects. The vast majority of the grants have gone to the Jonesboro Economic Transportation System or JETS, the city’s Parks and Recreation department, and infrastructure needs.

The city received a $1.5 million federal TIGER grant to do an environmental study before building an overpass at the corner of Nettleton Avenue and Highland Drive, Clark said.

There has been a 42% increase in the amount of grants the city has received in the past four years, with officials having a 58% success rate in landing funding they’ve applied for.

Clark said her office raises about $300,000 a month in grant funding with money coming from federal, state, local and private sources.

The funding has also helped to build sidewalks on Caraway Road, fund school resource officers for each school in Jonesboro and revitalize Parker Park in north Jonesboro, Clark said.

The council also left a rezoning proposal at its second reading.

The proposal involves rezoning an area in the 2800 block of Wood Street from R-1 to C-3 Limited Use. Council members are expected to take up the issue at their June 16 meeting.