Fort Smith city directors approved millions of dollars in road projects Tuesday night.
“Sometimes 10th Street is impassable,” said Lorie Robertson, client services executive at Rightmind Advertising.
Robertson knows firsthand about flooding in Fort Smith. In 2009 her office at Brunswick Place filled with water. “We had a really really hard rain and it flooded our office and so our whole staff moved into one room upstairs,” she said.
Tuesday night directors passed a resolution that allows for drainage improvements, street, bridge, and sidewalk repair.
“Some of the work that we've got for the next year is to reduce some of the flooding,” said Stan Snodgrass, Fort Smith Director of Engineering. “I think it needs to be clear to everybody that we're not gonna stop it.”
Snodgrass says the city’s drainage system is more than 100 years old. He believes the improvements will reduce flooding.
“Historically on average you would be looking at a flood every couple of years instead of several times a year like you may see now,” said Snodgrass.
Robertson says the owner of her building made some changes after flooding in the past. She is already seeing improvements.
“Our parking lot doesn't hold as much water as it used to so we're very grateful for what they've done,” said Robertson.
City leaders say a current one cent sales tax will fund the improvements. Snodgrass says some of the projects will take several years.