City of Paragould
Rich in History and Tradition
Paragould is located 150 miles northeast of Little Rock and 80 miles northwest of West Memphis. Paragould is situated atop Crowley’s Ridge and located along the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway. We are near to some of the most plentiful lakes, streams, and rivers in all of Arkansas.
Paragould is a growing city that is rich in history and tradition. The Greene County Fair is more than 100 years old and is the single largest county fair in the state.
Our historic downtown is home to Art and Stroll and the State's largest Zombie Walk. The downtown area is located on Pruett Street and includes the restored Collins Theatre and the Greene County 1888 Historic Courthouse, home of the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer”
-F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, The Great Gatsby
Summer is in full swing and life in the city of Paragould, and our nation, is as close to normal as we’ve seen in over a year. I don’t think I’m the only person who gets excited about summer, beach, river and lake trips, family vacations and getting the chance to spend a little more time with the kids during summer break. Life feels normal and life is GREAT!!!
I thought I would take a chance to bring everyone up to speed on the goings on in the city over the past few months and let you know the good changes we are experiencing.
First off, lets talk about Economic Development and what we are doing to make sure we do all we can to help our local existing industries in their recruiting efforts. The EDC recently made two major announcements of a long anticipated Innovation Center and a Farmers’ Market. The vision statement for the innovation space states “to be ground zero for entrepreneurship, job creation, workforce development and cultivation of skills.” This project is dedicated to igniting the community of Paragould by providing a space and network that encourages entrepreneurship, continues the development of our current workforce, and exposes tomorrow’s workforce to our communities’ opportunities. The farmers’ market will not only be a place for our local artisans to sell their goods but also a gathering place for our community. The investment from not only the EDC but also private individuals in our downtown is increasing development at a rate that is unseen in our lifetime. The success of Paragould’s, “Downtown After Hours” event shows our downtown is quickly becoming a destination.
Secondly, I want to introduce our new parks director, James Kashak. James has started his tenure, and with that brings many new and great ideas to this department. Although there are many exciting examples of big changes in our parks, I’d like to highlight just a few. Work has started and has been very productive on the 8-Mile Creek Trail, with the section between highway 49 & 49b nearing completion and ready for public use. Another exciting change in our parks is “Greene County Night” at the Paragould Water Park, which takes place every Thursday evening. The city council wanted to make sure that the citizens of our city and county have the opportunity to use our facilities, so we sat aside a night dedicated to our local residents. We want to encourage all Greene County residents to take full advantage of this opportunity. In other parks and recreation updates, we had our yearly Fishing Rodeo with over 250 kids participating and being served lunch. Finally, I wanted to mention that our July the 4th community gathering was a huge success! The
day started off with a cornhole tournament, the return of the Police vs. Fire tug-of-war, free hamburgers and hotdogs provided by Central Baptist Church and MOR Media, all followed by a giant fireworks show thanks to MOR Media and our local A&P Commission. These types of events are what makes our community unique and should make us all proud to call Paragould home!
In closing, I feel it necessary to mention many of the changes that are happening at city hall. First, from all of us at city hall we would like to congratulate City Treasurer Georgia Rogers, Fire Captain Kimmy Don Rogers and City Attorney Allen Warmath on their retirements at the end of June. Along with the addition of James to our parks system we also had some changes city wide. Shelia Ragsdell will be taking over many of Georgia's roles as Chief Administrative Officer for the Mayor, and Lauren McDaniel will be taking Shelia’s place as our Payroll Clerk and assistant to HR. Lastly, Fire Chief Kevin Lang will be retiring from the Fire Department, but will be joining the ranks at city hall to become the Department Head for our Inspectors Office. With this, a big congratulations goes out to Kyle Jackson who will be taking over for Kevin as Fire Chief.
As always I call it the opportunity of a lifetime to represent the citizens and employees of the city of Paragould, and my door is always open.
For last months issues click below: