Officials break ground for Foreman park facility

Ground Breaking Ceremony

By Jud Powell Staff Reporter Little River News
Story reprinted by permission of Little River News

Officials started the physical portion of a new 43-acre recreation park in Foreman on Wednesday morning, Oct. 9, with a groundbreaking ceremony attended by State Sen. Barbara Horn, D-Ark., Teton Industrial Construction Company Civil Superintendent Jeff Henry, former State Rep. Ken Cowling, D-Ark., and Foreman Recreation Park Commissioner Teresa Woods,  as well as a number of other local community leaders.

Teton is one of several subcontractors that worked on the recent Ash Grove Cement plant expansion, and their donation is part of its community involvement initiative that seeks to give back to the communities in which they have been privileged to work.

“I have nothing but free time as far as this project is concerned,” Henry said.“I been with this project for over two months and the company has donated 5,100 concrete blocks for construction of restrooms, the concession stand and a multipurpose building at the park.”

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Patience pays off. Foreman is getting a new water tower!

Foreman's new water tower during construction.

More than a decade after officially voting to replace it’s old, dilapidated water tower, Foreman residents will soon be drinking from a brand new tank. After evaluating it for upgrades and maintenance over 11 years ago, the city council then determined the old water tower would be less costly to replace than renovate. Since that time, the tower has stood largely unchanged receiving only essential maintenance to ensure safety and water quality. However, the exterior could not be painted because it was coated in older, lead-based paint which, according to State and Federal regulations, would have entailed an enormous cost to strip and dispose of properly. So, the old tank stood in disrepair as the city worked to save money and secure funding for a new one.

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City Wide Yard Sale!

Yard Sale
Get ready for the Foreman Second Annual City Wide Yard Sale!  The big event is planned for the weekend of October 9th & 10th, and we’re expecting big crowds. If you love to browse yard sales looking for that perfect item or rare collectible, be sure to mark your calendar for both days. And if you’ve got something to sell, plan to set up shop Friday and Saturday.
Everyone is invited to participate.
For more information contact Joyce Green at 870.542.6606

More of the great outdoors is coming to town

Foreman announces plans for new park!

Foreman officials have been very busy lately with several new projects.  One of the most exciting is the recent announcement that the city has obtained funds to develop approximately 40 acres on North Malden Street for a city park.  The new park project is the result of the efforts of several area individuals.  Special recognition is due State Senator Barbara Horn and former State Representative Ken Cowling who both worked diligently to help secure more than $400,000 for the project.  Total funds include a $220,000 grant from Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, a $48,300 grant from the Arkansas Tobacco Settlement Program and a $150,000 grant from the State General Improvement fund.

The monies will be used to develop the land, which the city already owns, for use as the city’s outdoor recreation area.  Along with beautiful landscaping and lots of trees, the new park will feature playground equipment, a picnic area and a baseball/softball field.  The addition of a second ball field for city use is particularly exciting as it is one of the requirements for hosting the annual state softball tournament.  Foreman’s own Lady Gators have won the state tournament five years in a row, and city residents are eager to now be able to bid to host the competition that they have dominated for so long.

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New community center gets official funding

Foreman residents will soon be able to enjoy a new, fully appointed community center thanks in part to a $250,000 grant provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also commonly known as the federal stimulus bill.  The funds were approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program administered by the grants division of the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC).

The new community center will be located in the old city hall building which also once served as a car dealership before being purchased by the city.  City Hall operations, which included a public computer lab, were forced to evacuate the building after flooding caused extensive damage.  Although the city hall was relocated, the public computer lab could not be replaced, and the original structure remained in the city’s possession as officials hoped to one day renovate and redevelop it for public use.  With the news of the block grant award, that hope will soon become a reality.

In addition to a large forum suitable for meetings and other public functions, the center will also house a brand-new computer lab to replace the previous one lost in the flood.

No definitive completion date has been given, but plans are now underway to start work on the project with construction set to begin in the near future.

Foreman Fire and Rescue acquires new rescue truck

Foreman Fire and Rescue

Foreman volunteer fireman are excited about the department’s recent acquisition of a 2009 Chevrolet 3500 one Ton truck to replace its current search and rescue vehicle.  The new truck provides the department with state of the art equipment to aid in emergency and rescue operations.

The truck is equipped with rear-mounted directional spotlights and floodlights, a heavy-duty front bumper system including a winch and a heavy-duty utility bed that will be used to house the department’s extrication system, popularly referred to as the ‘jaws of life’, as well as a full array of emergency rescue equipment.

 Funds for the new truck were provided by a combination USDA Rural Development grant and loan.  Of the $42,000 total, $23,000 is in the form of a grant with the remaining $19,000 specified as a loan that will be repaid to the program by the city.

The truck was purchased at Royal Chevrolet in Foreman, and graphics and equipment installation were provided by Little River County deputy Glen Hankins of Hankins Custom Signs.