Mayor Says State of Van Buren Is “Very Good”

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VAN BUREN (KFSM) – At a city council meeting Monday (March 21), Mayor Bob Freeman addressed the state of the city.

“The state of the city in Van Buren, Arkansas is very good,” Freeman said.

He pointed to the accomplishments from the past year, including a new police station, an improved ISO rating, and a senior center.

But there are some things he would like to see get done, including the completion of the Veterans Park.

“As a veteran, as the father of an active duty soldier, as a son of a veteran, of all the projects -- this one means the most important thing to me,” Freeman said.

The mayor said the $1.3 million project does not have funding issues, but plans for drainage, electricity and landscaping still need to be finalized.

He expects a groundbreaking around Memorial Day of 2016.

Adam Brown moved to Van Buren from Memphis six years ago, and said he loves living in the city, but if he had one complaint, it would be the traffic in one particular spot.

“The traffic needs to be better,” Brown said. “If you go on (Highway) 59 Monday through Friday after 5:00 p.m., it's just bumper-to-bumper. So something needs to be changed right through there."

Freeman said the highway department has put $700,000 into the plan for changes at the Interstate 40 and Highway 59 interchange.

“Does it fund the actual building? No, but you got to have the plans, and the design work done up front until you move to the next step,” Freeman said.

The mayor said another goal for this year is putting sidewalks on Rena Road. He expects to work on several street and drainage projects in the coming year as well.