by Max Brantley
This is the kind of project that Economic Infrastructure Fund [part of the governor's surplus money allocation] is typically used to do: utility relocation, rail relocation, water & sewer, etc.
Not sure about what's typical, but in most states where I've done regulatory work, utility relocation is the responsibility of the utility and they pass the cost on to the ratepayers. Don't know what the negotiation with the developer and the utility was in this case, but the city contacted us and asked us to participate with them.
For AEDC, this was an investment in the city center, not unlike the role we played in locating Orbea downtown or the announcement we'll participate in tomorrow in Argenta.
Downtown Little Rock and North Little Rock serve as Arkansas's front door, and where we can, we try to participate in projects, large and small that we hope will have an impact. We've found that downtown Little Rock/North Little Rock has been a huge difference-maker with first-time visitors to our state, looking at Arkansas for business relocation.