Although the next city-wide cleanup project has been set for Sept. 9, work has already begun at several sites around town, and Don
Clark said he’s pleased.

“The whole purpose of a city-wide cleanup is to get everyone to take care of their own property,” said Clark, who serves as the city’s code enforcement officer.

Business owners in downtown Arkadelphia have concentrated recently on their properties. “There were weeds coming up in the sidewalks. “Those have not only been cut, but the clippings have been hauled away, giving the area a fresh, new look, Clark said. “It just makes everything look better.”

Clark said other projects, such as the demolition of dilapidated houses, will also help the city look better.

Directors of Arkadelphia’s City Board agreed to demolish 10 houses. Last week, the board accepted a bid from a Bryant firm to demolish and clean up the sites. Only nine of the selected sites will be demolished, said city Manager Jimmy Bolt. The owners of the residence at 1705 Pine have received a building permit to do work on the property. The remaining nine properties are: 1733 Caddo, 1801 Caddo, 1834 Mill Creek, 1709 Pine, 1904 Pine, 2001 Pine, 322 N. 10th, 127 N. 17th and 124 N. 18th streets.

The city received a grant for $50,000 from Southern Bancorp to finance the demolition. Once the work is done, a lien is placed on the property in an effort to make it self-sustaining.

Once that work is done, more funding will be available for the demolition of more structures, said Phil Baldwin, president and chief
operating officer of Southern Bancorp.

In the meantime, all city and county residents are invited to either participate in the community-wide cleanup effort on Sept. 9 or to clean up their own neighborhoods, Clark said.

Groups and organizations, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and others, are also invited to participate. The workers meet at the Community Family Enrichment Center and get their work assignments early Saturday morning. They then return in time for a volunteer-provided lunch before noon.

“Anyone is invited to participate,” Clark said. If any organization or group needs more information, or to volunteer to help, they are invited to call Clark at 246-1818.