Written by Arkansas Real Estate
This week we had a great opportunity to visit with Mayor Eldon Long of Lowell. The City of Lowell is seeing amazing growth in business and residential development and much can be attributed to the work of Mayor Long and his team. Thank you, Mayor Long for your commitment to Northwest Arkansas and all you are doing to make it a great place live, work, and play!
We have a lot to be thankful for as a community and have been able to build upon our strong wholesome values that unify us which help us work together to accomplish things. The key for a thriving community is cooperation and collaboration. We have been fortunate to have a great group of people who work together for the common good of our city. We also have strong partnerships with the Northwest Arkansas Regional Planning Commission and the Northwest Arkansas Council.
Lowell is the center of Northwest Arkansas. We are in the middle of I-540, and we have the highest averages of household income in Northwest Arkansas. We have tremendous organizations, parks, and are very excited about the Razorback Greenway Trail.
We have a motto we use here in Lowell, "A town with a past, a city with a future".
We are thankful for our roots, and optimistic for the future.
What is ahead for Lowell in terms of growth?
We have an abundance of economic development opportunities in our city. A few years ago we had a huge annexation to our west and have been able to incorporate that area into our long-term sewer development plan. We recently completed a sewer project on Highway 264 near I-540, and there are a lot of businesses this will effect.
Some of the new business growth you can look forward to is Atwood's Farm and Garden that broke ground this month. This month also marks the opening of the JB Hunt Transport Senior Center, which will be a huge benefit to our residents. First Tee of Northwest Arkansas has also moved to Lowell, which helps encourage children to plug into golfing through nine core character building principles. Among other development we are excited that the Arkansas State Highway Patrol has purchased 25 acres in which they will be moving their headquarters to over the next year, as well as, Dish Network who is bringing their distribution and training centers to our area.
Also, we plan to expand Exit 78 to dual lanes, which increase the capacity of the intersection. Right now this intersection sees 78,000 vehicles per day, so the need to add another lane is crucial.
Over the next two to three years we plan to continue to improve Hwy. 264 to Bellview by Gold Springs Road which will add a traffic light.
In Winter of 2013, we hope to be connected to the Razorback Greenway Trail which will a tremendous amenity to our residents and improve quality of life for citizens of all ages. We also are excited about the new elementary school that is set to open in 2013 on Mt. Hebron Road, and we found out that this will be named Janie Darr Elementary. We could not be more thrilled to add another school to the two elementary schools that are already doing so well in our community. These additions are already attracting residential development to that side of town.
What are some of the major accomplishments that have taken place since you took role as Mayor of Lowell?
I tend to measure success differently than some, to me, success comes from improving our resident's quality of life, and I look at this through a number of different indicators. The biggest thing I can attribute is our mindset continues to improve because our administration has a great emphasis in trusting God. We open all our city council and city planning meetings in prayer, and became a part of a national campaign "In God We Trust". We felt if this was good enough to put on our federal money, it was good enough to keep in our city. You will see signs that say "In God We Trust" in our chambers.
With keeping that at the forefront of our minds, there are many other things that have been accomplished over the last few years. I have been and continue to be very active in the Razorback Greenway Trail system which will improve our quality of life locally and regionally. I have been very involved with economic development of several projects, such as helping fill up many of our strip malls that once set vacant in 2007-2008. I have helped with development which has resulted in the highest sales tax collections that Lowell has ever received while being in office. One of my campaign slogans was "Buy Lowell, Build Lowell" because our sales tax dollars make a tremendous impact on our growth as a city.
I have helped complete two sewer projects, and helped with the Monroe Street improvements and also overlayed a number of streets.
I also have a strong passion for continuing to improve our public safety. We have been able to add one storm warning into our budget this year, and another is planned for next year. I also supported a new EMS system at our Fire Department. We also now have a paramedic on staff, and have been able to add new state-of-the-art equipment for our fire trucks.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve my community, and look forward to our continued progress.