This is the 11th story in a series about the Clark County Strategic Plan. The focus is on Caddo Valley.
Caddo Valley Mayor Alan Dillavou is pleased with all the projects for his city in Clark County’s Strategic Plan, but he’s concerned about the funding.
“How are they going to pay for all of this?” Dillavou said recently.
He is concerned because the residents and businesses in his city are already paying a 1/2-cent tax at hotels and restaurants. Such a tax is commonly referred to as a “hamburger tax” because it was first aimed at fast food restaurants.
With the recent passage of a county-wide 1/2-cent tax for economic development, Caddo Valley will be hardest hit, Dillavou said because many hotels and restaurants are located there. “I was afraid the county would come in and tax us more.”
Among the improvements listed in the plan for the Caddo Valley area are a tourist information center on Interstate 30. “That sounds good,” Dillavou said.
He also favors the location of an outlet mall in the area, perhaps one with a movie theater or other entertainment venues. He most favors the installation of traffic lights on the exit ramps from the interstate.
“We’ve inquired about that in the past,” he said. “It costs lots of money.” Cost estimates for lights are as high as $100,000 each, he said. But he admits lights are sorely needed, especially on the eastbound exit ramp. “With all the traffic going from Texarkana to Little Rock, we really need one there.” It would also aid motorists who are traveling east to DeGray Lake and who are attempting to turn left onto Highway 7 from the exit ramp.
Dillavou said he would support the installation of the traffic lights in the area if funding were obtained. “I would favor a matching grant for that project.”
He also favors parts of the strategic plan that capitalize on the area’s natural resources to bring tourists to the area. “With DeGray Lake and the Caddo River, there could be more to bring people into Caddo Valley,” he said.
The City of Caddo Valley has been making improvements on their own, Dillavou said. The recent addition of new basketball courts at the city park and the planned walking trail in the park are only two of the projects planned for the city. “You will be seeing some changes in the next few years,” he said.
The county-wide strategic plan and its development process have been good for all towns and areas of the county, Dillavou said. “It’s good for people to work together to improve things in the county.”