- Our Mission
- Personal Accounts
- Business Accounts
- Investor Relations
- Find Locations
- About Southern
- Contact Us
Baldwin provides glimpse into final CCSP document
By Donna Hilton
Although the Clark County Strategic Plan is not yet complete, the 42-page document lists 39 goals and 160 action steps to reach those goals, said Phil Baldwin, CEO of Southern Bancorp, which helped provide financing for the project.
The plan, which will sum up a year’s worth of work by citizens of Clark County, combines the work of all seven of the project’s subcommittees, Baldwin said.
Work on the plan began last July, when members of the community signed up to serve on one of the seven subcommittees: Education, health care, housing, economic development, tourism, leadership and financial planning.
After months of meeting as subcommittees, information submitted by each group has been compiled into one county-wide plan, Baldwin said.
He said the plan includes some “big” items and some actions that can be taken “without spending one penny.” Some of the bigger ideas included in the plan include a bypass around downtown Arkadelphia to assist with traffic flow. Large log trucks are often seen traveling along U.S. 67, which flows through downtown as 6th Street.
Although it may take 15-20 years to accomplish that goal, inclusion of the project in the plan is the first step to making it a reality, Baldwin said. “By having it on paper, we can then go to the governor and the director of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and ask for funding” for the project. “It shows our commitment to the project.”
Another “big” idea in the plan is the expansion of the aviation program at Henderson State University and the Dexter Florence Memorial Airport. Those affiliated with the aviation program would like to see it expanded, Baldwin said. “We need to train pilots (to fly) regional jets.” Since the airlines have changed their policies of hiring mostly military pilots, the expanded program could be a major training ground for airlines and other companies. “The program could be promoted by the airlines,” he said, and the airport itself, with the expanded training program, “could become a focal point for economic development.”
Other projects included in the plan focus on the many resources that are already available in Clark County, such as the hospital. “That is a huge asset to our community,” Baldwin said. “We need to be looking into opportunities there.”
The plan includes steps that will assist the hospital economically, and ideas that will allow the hospital to serve more people of the county with more programs. “We’ve got so much talent and resources here, with our people and the environment. We just have to work together,” to accomplish our goals, he said.
Overall, the strategic plan is a promising, positive document, Baldwin said. “It talks about what we can do, not what we can’t,” he said.
The plan will provide something for everyone to do, Baldwin said, whether it’s finding the resources for a large project or just working with a neighbor to accomplish the simpler goals. “Some of these projects can be accomplished without spending one penny.”
The whole planning experience has been a positive one for the county, Baldwin said. “I think the cooperative spirit in the county has expanded.”