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A plan to revitalize Clark County written by 500 residents of the southwestern Arkansas county over the past year and a half was hailed Monday by Gov. Mike Beebe as a model for community development statewide.

Beebe joined community leaders for the unveiling of the county’s strategic plan, modeled after the Delta Bridge Project in Phillips County, spearheaded by Arkadelphia-based Southern Bancorp.

“The Clark County Strategic Plan is a model for community development across the state,” Beebe said. “I commend all the hard work, leadership, and community buy-in that helped turn this into a reality.”

The 47-page plan includes 254 goals that its authors say could help transform the county over the next decade. Among the goals, the report calls for the creation of a countywide tourism commission, a retail and entertainment corridor along Interstate 30 and more investment in biofuels.

“By 2017, Clark County will be recognized throughout Arkansas and surrounding states as a dynamic center of higher education, a nationally known retirement community, a technology manufacturing hub, a leader in both the traditional forest products industry and a research center for alternative fuels based on conversion of forest product biomass,” the report said.

The report also proposes creating a two-year technical and vocational school and developing a national memorial park and training center for American Indian heritage and culture on the Ouachita River bluff.

Community leaders touted a $690,000 federal grant for a child care center and a half-percent sales tax for economic development approved by voters in July as accomplishments from the plan.

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Clark County Strategic Plan