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City hasn't paid tech park share

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Little Rock has not yet "processed" the invoice for the $25,000 payment it has pledged to the Little Rock Technology Park Authority, City Manager Bruce Moore said Tuesday in an e-mail to the Times.

But neither Moore nor Mayor Mark Stodola answered the Times' question on whether the city's non-payment was in protest of the park Authority board's decision not to participate in seeking non-residential acreage for construction of the park. The board's inaction prompted University of Arkansas for Medical Science Chancellor Dan Rahn's decision to withhold UAMS' $25,000 installment.

The city, UAMS, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas Children's Hospital have each pledged $125,000, to be paid in installments, toward the park. UALR and ACH have paid.

The board has "taken off the table" three residential areas it has been studying in response to objections from the neighborhoods, chair Dr. Mary Good announced recently, but she said at the board's June meeting that the board will consider the suggestions of others, rather than seek out alternatives itself.

Authority board member Dickson Flake told the Times in an e-mail that a site submission form for those who would propose alternatives is being reviewed by consultant Charles Dilks, hired recently by the board, and will be released "this week." One of those alternate sites will certainly be 10 acres on Interstate 30 between Sixth and Eighth streets, proposed Monday by representatives of Heifer International, the Clinton Foundation, the University of Arkansas's Clinton School of Public Service and Acxiom Corp.

Dilks was a member of the Angle Technology Group that prepared recommendations for a research park for the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in 2009. Angle proposed two of the three neighborhoods the Authority board has focused on; Flake defined the third site (the Forest Hills neighborhood, bordering Interstate 630).

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