Future Fort Smith Talks 78-Acre Annexation, Lip Dub World Record Attempt

FORT SMITH (KFSM) — Annexation and “lip dubs” were front-and-center at the Future Fort Smith committee meeting on Monday (Oct. 17) from the Creekmore Park Community Center, reports Talk Business & Politics.

In news likely to have a significant tax benefit to the city in years ahead, Fort Smith could be getting a little bigger thanks to a possible 78.61-acre annexation offer the city’s Board of Directors will take up on Tuesday night (Oct. 17).

Fort Smith Director of Development Services Wally Bailey revealed the request for consideration at Monday’s meeting, telling Talk Business & Politics afterward that Sebastian County Judge David Hudson pushed the deal through for the city’s consideration in September.

 

The Robert A. Young III, 2008 Trust requested the annexation for property located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Arkansas Highway 45 and Geren Road. Bailey said the applicant has “some exciting plans” for the area, though it’s still too early to tell specifics. Bailey said he expects the eastern portion of the development will include more residential space, particularly multi-family, with “small-scale commercial, retail developments” opening up toward Highway 45.

No representatives from the trust were available at Monday’s meeting, but the Board’s vote on Tuesday, if affirmative, will allow for a 30-day appeals process before the land annexation becomes official.

In other Future Fort Smith items, Bradford Randall of Randall Ford, who serves on the FFS committee, announced as part of the city’s bicentennial celebration for 2018, there will be an officially recognized attempt to set the Guinness World Record for amount of participants in a “Lip Dub.”

The official attempt will take place on May 28 with some practice sessions in the weeks leading up to it. Randall said a nonprofit organization named Lip Dub Fort Smith has been formed, and the effort – a music video in which citizens of an area join together in a choreographed lip sync to a thematically chosen song – will require approximately $30,000 and at least 5,001 participants to pull off.

The group is seeking quotes from local film studios Branchout Studios and Five Star Productions for videography. Grand Rapids, Mich., set the existing record with 5,000 participants in 2011 in response to a Newsweek article that had dubbed the city as one of the most rapidly dying in the United States. The video went viral and has since amassed more than five million views on YouTube and social networks.

FFS committee member Paula Linder said the Lip Dub effort is as much about “changing the way we see ourselves” as it is promoting the city as an ideal place to live, work, and play. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is being considered as the featured song for the video. Lip Dub Fort Smith will also sponsor a series of video vignettes starting on Oct. 1, 2018 that depict aspects of the city’s future in the areas of transportation, technology, education, and daily life.

Click here for the Lip Dub Fort Smith website for details on how to donate or get involved in the finished project.