Dec 17, 2014 New mayor sees the potential
Story and photos
by Janna Virden
Allen Lipsmeyer felt so strongly about the future of Morrilton that he made up his mind to run for mayor to try to make the city’s potential a reality.
He was elected last May and has been ready ever since. He said Morrilton has many assets that will lead to growth if promoted, including outstanding school systems, a local two-year college, Morrilton’s access to freeway, river and rail, and the beautiful scenic areas in the county such as Petit Jean Mountain. He also believes in timing and that the time is just right for Morrilton to grow. He said it won’t happen overnight, but he hopes with the changes he plans to make people will begin to see the town start to develop into the ideal mid-size city. He has laid out several goals he wants to accomplish in the next several years.
AGGRESSIVE CLEAN-UP EFFORT
Lipsmeyer wants to start by sprucing-up the town and the town’s image. He said this includes a large paving project around the city’s ballpark as well as around the local fire stations.
But the clean-up efforts won’t just be done in the public areas. He also wants to clean up some eyesores in local neighborhoods. He believes that the city council is on board and ready to do improvements. “If we don’t invest in our town, how can we expect others to do so?”
FOCUS GROUP OF LOCAL LEADERS
Lipsmeryer also wants to start a focus group of local leaders that will meet monthly to discuss issues facing the county as a whole. He hopes the group will be made up of representatives from local schools as well as the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton, county government, the Morrilton Area Chamber of Commerce and from the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. Lipsmeyer wants to work closely with everyone who has an interest in Conway County. “As the county grows, it benefits Morrilton as well.”
Lipsmeyer hopes to interest developers to start building new subdivisions in Morrilton and surrounding areas. He said that construction work is an industry in itself, and if the population is to grow there needs to be good housing available.
The new mayor hopes to see the population grow to 10,000 people in the next five years. Morrilton’s population has been stagnant for years, hovering around 6,000.
MAKE IT EASY FOR INVESTORS
Lipsmeyer, who owns buildings in the downtown area, wants to see downtown Morrilton grow and change. He wants to implement changes that will make it easier for investors to start a business in the downtown area in order to get the revitalization effort off to a good start. He sees the downtown as a place that can be a home for unique businesses.
Part of the improvements would be a downtown amphitheater. He plans on working with all the entities that have an interest in the downtown area to make sure that the needed growth happens while maintaining the feel that makes small town America so special.
PROMOTE WHAT YOU HAVE
Lipsmeyer strongly believes in promoting what you have in the entire county not just what is in the city limits of Morrilton. “We are blessed to be in a county with good school districts throughout so no matter where you moved, you would receive a quality education.”
He also said UACCM and Petit Jean Mountain continues to draw people into the area from outside the county. Because of Morrilton’s location and low crime rate, Lipsmeyer believes the town is primed for growth. He said he hopes to help in making Morrilton better not just because the changes would benefit his family, but because it would benefit everyone. “There is so much I want to do because I see so much potential in our town.”