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Cabin Window: Dealing with growing pains

Posted: July 19, 2014 - 11:29am

All we’ve heard for decades is that Conway is a city that’s growing. And it’s true. But much like a growing child, Conway is about to deal with several areas of growth that will require patience and evolution and adaptability. Not everything will be right for the city. Not everything will work. But the next few years are vital to keep the city moving forward as a business destination and as a place to live.

While most everyone is excited about the impending arrival of Central Landing — and the fact that the area of the old airport didn’t just sit there vacant and unwanted — much will need to be done to bring this outdoor mall idea to fruition. The investment of money into new roads and better access to Interstate 40 is essential before one brick is set down at Central Landing. In order to make that investment, the Conway City Council is recommending the residents vote for a bond initiative that would allow about $20 million to be spent on those road improvements, as well as other projects. We will be looking into the pros and cons of this upcoming election in the next few weeks.

But with more stores and more restaurants coming to town, one might ask, “How much is too much?” Can we support everything that is coming in, and if we spend our money there, what current businesses will suffer as a result?

A recent visit to The Painted Table, known briefly as Table Mesa, gave us an answer. This is one of the finest restaurants in town, and dare we say one of the better ones in Central Arkansas. Its sister locations in Fayetteville and in Missouri are constantly packed with patrons, and yet the Conway location has struggled. About only six groups of people were being served on a Saturday night, while nearby establishments Mike’s Place, Old Chicago, JJ’s and Pasta Grill were humming with business. Is there a limit to the number of high-class eating establishments that Conway can support? That remains to be seen. For the record, the dinner at The Painted Table was incredible.

So it’s exciting to see new things come in and others get improved. It takes hard work and sacrifice and more than a little compromise to deal with changes that affect a growing city.

We just need to make sure we are ready and able to deal with those changes.

(The Editorial Board consists of Publisher Zach Ahrens, Editor Ricky Duke and Reporter Joe Lamb)

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David
337
Points
David 07/19/14 - 12:19 pm
3
1
Dare we say

Glad you enjoyed your meal.

Conway isn't a child nor is it like a child. Municipalities have residents and some of them are children but that doesn't make towns human any more than corporations having employees makes them people. It's a seductive analogy and a misleading one. Among towns in Arkansas, Conway is relatively fast growing. Rapid growth of a town doesn't require that its residents feel pain. Rapid growth does require very good planning including development of strategic and operational plans that are openly publicized and followed and frequently publicly reviewed. It can be helpful to have a media outlet that assists in the publicizing and reviewing without engaging in back-slapping boosterism. There are complicated social, financial, land use and tax questions that need to be explored and answered as development proceeds. The next few years in Conway are no more vital to residents than were the past few years. What might be vital to residents is that our community leaders and decision makers stop repeating development and government mistakes. An informed public can be helpful in getting our leaders to do that. Now that you have had an enjoyable lunch, it's time to get to work.

Igor Rabinowitz
8945
Points
Igor Rabinowitz 07/19/14 - 06:01 pm
3
2
None of your statement is true

A government entity is not like a private enterprise. Were it so we would not have the government investments made which led to things like highway commerce and air travel. No different at the city level. Absent investment is stagnation.

Pain? How is there pain? Your use of over-inflated rhetoric (your use of sophistry) belies a more important point: Without investment of the community in the community the community stagnates. You want pain? Live in one of those towns where opportunity has left, and with it tax revenue, and with that services. Call a cop.

To do less is to declare we need to pull up the drawbridge. Previous generations invested in Conway, and we enjoy what they're done. (They built an airport, for example.) We, in turn, invest so that future generations may continue to enjoy life here.

This is how it works, this is how society works, community. Not the mean-spirited booger flicking of those who embrace the selfishness encouraged by funding from their own selfish ends, but a body of people with their eyes on the horizon and their hearts turned to something other than only themselves and their own narrow interests - while smugly lambasting all who oppose.

Read up on just not only "who" is funding the anti- movement (you know, movement, like a bowel) but why, how their own selfishness is attempting to crush American community.

Elmer Fudd
4009
Points
Elmer Fudd 07/19/14 - 02:38 pm
1
2
David

Yep the rah rah by the LCD needs to go and dig into and report the facts. If you have seen some of my posts in this forum i have been and will continue to be critical of this City's administration as well as the City Council. It is nothing personal of course. They seem to not get it when it comes to business deals and not forthcoming about a lot of things.

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