West Memphis voters to decide $10 million plan for city parks

West Memphis park renovations underway

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - West Memphis leaders are asking voters to approve a multi-million-dollar initiative to transform city parks and they say taxpayers won’t have to pay a dime.

Frank Martin has served as treasurer of West Memphis for 21 years. But he says he has never seen a proposal like the one city leaders are now getting behind.

“When you do bond issues, you’re always trying to figure out a way to pay for them and how to put that in a budget,” said Martin. “No problem here.” He’s talking about a $10 million plan to renovate West Memphis’ city parks.

The plan calls for a new sports complex at Tilden Rogers Park, including turf fields, volleyball and tennis courts, walking trails and a dog park.

Other parks would receive new splash pads and Hightower would get a new amphitheater and playground.

"It's a great opportunity for local kids and it's a great opportunity for tourism as well," said Martin.

Martin says it won't cost taxpayers a dime.

He says the project will be paid for using tax revenue from Southland Casino, which continues to bring the city more money each year.

West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon expects the sports complex to be a money-maker of its own.

"And it's also going to allow us to be able to make sure our sports complex is really attractive and will bring in additional funds when tournaments come here," said McClendon. "They stay here. They eat here. They buy here. So, it's going to be great for West Memphis."

But before it any of this can happen, voters will have to approve a referendum Dec. 10.

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