The Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency recently approved several resolutions aimed at assisting in the revitalization of business, residency and blight elimination in the Central City Renewal Area, according to a news release.


They accepted a bid for the purchase of heavy equipment to begin demolishing many of the condemned and dilapidated properties in the Central City Renewal Plan. The purchase would include a large excavator, a Peterbilt truck and a trailer.


Urban Renewal Agency Board Treasurer Lloyd Franklin Sr. supported the purchase due to its long-term savings.


“After reviewing a cost comparison between the amount of financial resources required for outsourcing demolition and the cost savings the agency would realize long-term, I believe it is a good investment. It is important that we establish our own internal capacity,” Franklin said.


The agency also approved its budget for the remainder of the year. A budget line item included the salary for both a truck driver and a heavy equipment operator. The board authorized Chairman Jimmy Dill to enter into a memorandum of understanding to partner with the Pine Bluff Civic Auditorium Complex to upgrade and renovate many aspects of the convention center.


Finally, the board approved a bid for the demolition of five houses. Maurice Taggart, the director of the agency, said that this is the first step towards eradicating much of the blight in the renewal area.


“Demolition of these five houses is the start of a strategic demolition process that will continue until we systemically remove blight in the renewal area to foster redevelopment,” he said.