Another perspective on RITA
The editorial discussion in the Log Cabin Democrat of Aug. 11, 2013 focused on the participation of Faulkner County in the Central Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority headlined as, “Is more government on its way to Faulkner County?” A short answer would be “no.”
Regional Intermodal Authorities are made possible by Act 690 of the Arkansas Legislature enabling different government entities to work together for a common purpose of improving regional transportation opportunities and the accompanying economic development. As proposed, the Central Arkansas Authority is comprised of Faulkner, Perry, and Conway County governments.
Committee members working on this concept for the past year have endeavored to incorporate a wide range of ideas with the one proviso that the ideas be consistent with sound economic development for the region. Provisions of ACT 690 are already being applied at a number of locations in Arkansas including SE Arkansas, NE Arkansas, SW Arkansas, and northwest of our region at Fort Smith and Van Buren. The concept of regional partnerships and cooperation was successfully applied decades ago in the northwest corner of our State. That region today rivals any other in Arkansas and the nation for economic growth. My key ‘takeaways’ from this great success story are to use the natural assets within the region as a base and don’t be too parochial! The three counties in the Central Arkansas Regional Intermodal Transportation Authority possess enormous potential for manufacturing, transportation and distribution. Combined they enjoy the full range of transportation assets including air, water, rail, and interstate highway. Other assets include natural resources, undeveloped land, good institutions of education and a highly trainable workforce. Add leadership and we can be a significant complement to our friends in the northwest corner of the State.
The host of “fears” raised in the editorial suggests the importance of qualified members on the Board — I couldn’t agree more. But to be paralyzed by fear is certainly no recipe for success. I am sure the committee would welcome constructive participation and suggestions.
So far as ‘visions’ go, great journeys begin with a single step! (taken from Lao-Tzu, c604-c531 BC and my mother)
— Paul N. Revis, P.E., Central Arkansas Regional Intermodal Authority Committee