On the evening of February 10th, about twenty five area residents attended the meeting hosted at the locally-owned An Enchanting Evening Winery to hear our special guest speaker from the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office (PCSO), Capt. Carl Minden after a 30 minute PowerPoint presentation from the Little Italy Incorporation Task Force organizers. Capt.
Minden spoke about his work as an officer in the Little Italy area since the 90's and solidified the relationship the Pulaski County Sheriff's Office will have with Little Italy, whether we become a town or not. The PCSO would never leave us unprotected. He encouraged the residents to contact the Sheriff's office to report any crime in the area or to even email or call him directly. He also encouraged the Little Italy area to establish a Neighborhood Crime Watch and offered help in getting this program established.
If anyone reading this from Little Italy would like to start a neighborhood crime watch, contact the Little Italy Incorporation Task Force directly via email or click here and here for more information on how to begin. A big THANK YOU to Capt. Minden and the PCSO for attending our Town Hall and taking the time to answer our questions. We appreciate all they do to help keep us safe.
At the start of the meeting, Task Force organizers presented information on the benefits of becoming an official town that included new information from the Arkansas State Highway Department on their relatively new street maintenance grant opportunity for municipalities that could see amounts up to $250,000 for repairs and resurfacing/overlays, which is a boon for small towns the size of Little Italy. According to David Mayo, State Aid Division Head, this program (the State Aid County Road Program) is being offered to all the municipalities in the state and has no sunset date. It is funded by the fuel tax and all new applicants will be considered first.
The State Highway Department handles the engineering, the bids, and costs towns $0 nothing. One such city in Arkansas that has benefited from this program is Greenland, Arkansas, and Mayor Bill Groom was helpful and informative when we talked with him about his experience with the grant. He was exceedingly positive about it and encouraged Little Italy to apply when it could - as well as highly recommending membership with the Municipal League of Arkansas.
Little Italy has to first become a town before it can apply for the State Aid County Road Program as this is offered to municipalities and not to unincorporated communities, as is the case for most all grants.
Source: Little Italy Arkansas