About that five-minute rule for the technology park | Arkansas Blog

About that five-minute rule for the technology park

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A MEETING TOO FAR: If 5 minutes from UALR is a critical distance limit, why hold tech park meeting at Clinton School?
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  • A MEETING TOO FAR: If 5 minutes from UALR is a critical distance limit, why hold tech park meeting at Clinton School?

I've griped before about the scientific underpinning of the rigid belief of Little Rock Technology Park boosters that it MUST be located within five minutes of UAMS and UALR. Not six. The whole thing will fail otherwise, they seem to insist, despite some successful ventures (see Research Triangle) many miles from related academic institutions. I learned yesterday that this rule came from a University of Arkansas researcher, but I haven't had time yet to find the foundation for his guideline.

I HAVE gotten a copy of this letter sent recently to Mark Stodola about a coming meeting of the Little Rock Technology Park Authority next week. (I've made an FOI request for e-mails and documents related to what will be discussed, but so far haven't gotten anything from the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce, which, unbelievably, remains in charge of the public documents of a public agency and decides who may get what and when.)

Good letter, from a resident of a neighborhood that faces destruction if chosen for the office building that Little Rock taxpayers will finance in hopes some businesses might locate there:

Mr Mayor,

I see that the next meeting of the Technology Park Board is being held in the Clinton School of Public Service. This is not right. If it is truly important that the Technology Park belocated within 5 minutes of UAMS, UALR and Children's Hospital then it must also be as important that Board meeting be held within the same confines. There are plenty of facilities within the three sponsoring institutions if the Hinton Center is not available.

Frankly, I doubt the necessity of that five minute radius and if you agree, I guess it would be OK to hold the meeting at the Clinton School.

Sincerely,
John Senner
1717 S Taylor St, 72204

It is a good time to again mention that the vast area around the Clinton Library and Heifer International, once envisioned as a nonprofit center, would be an ideal place for a technology park and uproot no residences. I know, it's 13 minutes from UALR, according to Google, but it's mostly freeway miles.

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