FCRA Trustees agree to begin talks to end the authority

by Tina Alvey Dale ([email protected]) 634 views 

The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority (FCRA) Board of Trustees on Thursday (April 18) agreed to work with the authority’s four beneficiaries to began talks on ending the authority and doing what is best for the Chaffee Crossing area.

FCRA trustees along with ex-officio members from Fort Smith and Sebastian County discussed the success of the trust during its board meeting Thursday (April 18). Though no decision was discussed on when dissolution of the trust should happen, the board agreed it was time to start meeting with beneficiaries about the needs of Chaffee Crossing and the beneficiaries and how best to meet those needs.

Sebastian County, and the cities of Barling, Fort Smith and Greenwood are the four beneficiaries.

The board also said it is time to remain focused on all parties working together for the maximum benefit of the public. All present stakeholders discussed the importance of meeting regularly to come together and collaborate and share information on the work that’s ended to be done to complete the goals established in the reuse plan.

“I look forward to working with each administrator or designated appointee to achieve our shared vision for Chaffee Crossing, Sebastian County and the cities of Fort Smith, Barling and Greenwood,” said Daniel Mann, FCRA executive director and CEO.

In late March and early April, the board of directors for Barling and Fort Smith passed resolutions recommending the dissolution of FCRA, termination of indenture of trust, establishing a winding up date and establishing procedures for the distribution of trust funds and trust property to the beneficiaries. While neither the Sebastian County Quorum Court nor the Greenwood City Council have passed a resolution to dissolve, members of both have received copies of similar resolutions for study and future discussion.

Only the authority board can vote to dissolve the organization. The FCRA was formed in 1997 to oversee redevelopment of 6,000 acres of land released by the U.S. Army from Fort Chaffee as part of a Base Realignment and Closure downsizing.

The FCRA board agreed Thursday it was time to start meeting with the beneficiaries so they could be informed of what all needs to be done still at Chaffee while their needs and wants are also discussed.

“Hopefully the temperature has been lowered, and we can all come together to do what is right for all parties involved,” Mann said.

Fort Smith Mayor George McGill said most people involved get the sense that everyone needs to sit down and practice good leadership concerning the matter.

“We need to communicate with each other, listen to their needs and let them convey how things look to them,” McGill said. “Then we can begin the conversation. All parties can ask the questions and get the answers and come up with a reasonable plan of wrapping things up.”

McGill said the key is communication and collaboration – basically using good leadership skills to navigate the steps to developing a plan for dissolution. Sebastian County Judge Steve Hotz said he welcomes the communication and discussion.

“(It will allow us) to put together a plan of how do we get there (dissolution) and what it will take to do it,” Hotz said.

No meeting dates were set, nor was any timeline for dissolution discussed. McGill said he would begin immediately to set up meetings to get the discussions started.