Under the terms of this agreement, the Central Arkansas Planning and Development District (CAPDD) would take ownership of the property rather than the City of Clarendon, assuaging concerns about the city’s potential liability for expenses it might not be able to bear in the future.New state obligations while the legislature is discussing a shortage of ways to pay for desired income tax cuts? And perpetual obligations? Gutsy. CAPDD as a savior? Interesting. It was on the losing end of the lawsuit that successfully challenged unconstitutional state legislative pork barreling by money funneled through development districts.
In addition, the costs of ongoing maintenance would be covered in their entirety by funds from the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism (ADPT) and the Department of Arkansas Heritage (DAH).
The unwillingness of DOI/USFWS to return to the negotiating table despite such an extraordinary change of circumstances – a change which addresses the entire portion of their concerns around the indefinite viability of the structure – may in part be explained by the recalcitrance of Arkansas’s senior senator, John Boozman. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife – the committee which oversees USFWS – Senator Boozman is perhaps the best-positioned, most powerful man in Congress on this matter.Here's the bridge group's full release.
His resounding “neutral” position on a seemingly positive project in his home state with substantial grassroots and public support may be sending a powerful message to the leadership at DOI/USFWS not to engage.