El Dorado Hopes 'the Promise' Brings Back the Golden Days

by Susan C. Thomson  on Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 12:00 am  

The new sales tax, which went into effect July 1, 2007, is expected to generate $32-$34 million before expiring in 2015. Some of the money is earmarked to develop a total of 1,800 undeveloped acres in two locations for prospective new businesses and to turn the 116,000-square-foot building Prescolite abandoned into a small-business development center.

With the biggest piece of the proceeds - about $17-$18 million - the city plans to build a conference center. At 51,000 square feet, it will be the largest meeting space in southern Arkansas and a magnet for out-of-town, as well as local, groups, Dumas says.

The additional school tax money will finance a $45 million high school to replace the current one, built in the late 1960s.

Groundbreakings for both the new conference center and the new high school are scheduled for this spring.                                        

(Susan C. Thomson is a freelance writer. This article was reprinted with permission from the January 2009 issue of The Regional Economist, a publication of the Federal Reserve Bank at St. Louis.)



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