Northwest Arkansas Council wants input on area infrastructure priorities

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 983 views 

The infrastructure workgroup of Springdale-based nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council is seeking feedback on regional infrastructure priorities, according to a Tuesday (Feb. 15) news release. The council recently reestablished the group to pursue funding that’s available as a result of the new $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Residents of Benton and Washington counties are asked to participate in a survey as the workgroup sets priorities in the coming years. The group includes representatives from Northwest Arkansas companies, its largest cities, counties and various regional organizations.

Nate Green, communications director for the council, said the workgroup chairman is Steven Beam with construction engineering firm Burns and McDonnell. The group meets quarterly and first met on Feb. 3. The meetings are not open to the public. The council declined to provide a member list of the group, but Green noted it comprises a “broad mix of corporate and city leaders as well as regional organizations who drive decision making in the areas we plan to focus on.”

Survey questions regard highway expansions, broadband, public transportation, water protection, recycling, and how to prepare for an expected surge in the use of electric vehicles in Northwest Arkansas and across the United States.

“We know projects with a clearly defined vision that include collaboration and communication among multiple partners will receive favorable treatment for these types of awards,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council. “Northwest Arkansas has a strong history of using regional approaches, and the survey is a great way to gain a full understanding of what residents see as priorities.”

Survey participants will be entered into a drawing to win one of five $100 Walmart gift cards. The survey will close on March 22.

Link here for the survey.

Business leaders, including Sam Walton, J.B. Hunt and Don Tyson, founded the Northwest Arkansas Council in 1990. The nonprofit serves as the regional convener for economic and community initiatives and identifies challenges and solutions to enhance prosperity in the region. Its key initiatives include advancing the quality of life, attracting talent, improving the region’s workforce, creating job opportunities, upgrading infrastructure and keeping up with the area growth.