Mayor Rick Elumbaugh visited with the Batesville Kiwanis Club Friday at Tavalos, talking to them about his state-of-the-city address recently, and what big projects are in the works for Batesville’s Master Plan.
“We’re going to get out of this pandemic and we need to be ready to go,” Elumbaugh said.
One of the ideas is a million-dollar roundabout planned by the community center at Meyers and 20th Street.
Another big project the city is looking at in the future is adding a $13 million water system to ensure the growing city has plenty of water.
Elumbaugh announced the city has purchased the old AP&L property with the intent on, within the next few years, turning it into the new home of Station One for the Batesville Fire Department. Elumbaugh sees turning the building into a shared municipal complex for both fire and police.
Additionally, voters passed Issue 1, which continued financing improvements to Arkansas roads, and the city is collaborating with the county, state, and city of Southside for an emergency lane on Ramsey Mountain. Part of that project may include a scenic overlook at the top of the mountain, along with simple hiking and dirt bike trails.
Elumbaugh thanked the members of the city council and the city employees who committed to moving the community forward in unprecedented times. The mayor lauded the state’s guidance on sales-tax collections during the pandemic, along with commercial projects like First Community Bank’s Operations Center, as well as an expansion at Bad Boy Mowers. Although 2020 was a stressful year, the city ended on positive notes with the dedication of Sara Low Memorial Dog Park in November, and the biggest, free Christmas light display in Arkansas as part of White River Wonderland. An estimated 250,000 people viewed the display.
The successes of Batesville are being continually being studied by other communities throughout the state, Elumbaugh said.