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Technology Park could force residents to move | News

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Technology Park could force residents to move
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- Fears a plan to create jobs and expand Little Rock's economy could force hundreds of people from their homes. The plan is to build the Little Rock Technology Park near UAMS and UALR.

A few of the sites are right in middle of neighborhoods. The park is still a couple of years out, but a decision on where they may build the park is set to come by the end of the summer. In the mean time, a number of residents are taking a stand and letting the Technology Park board know they don't want to leave their homes.

Franklin Jackson is one of many people with a sign in his front yard. It reads "not for sale" "Me and my wife bought this house and it's a good neighborhood, we raised our kids here and sent them to school." After living here for 32 years he may have to move.

A technology park is slated to come to Little Rock. Mary Good, the chair for the park authority board, says legislation requires the new park to be between UAMS and UALR. "For this sort of a development, wherever we put it there is going to be some sort of a disruption and the only thing we can do is to try to is to be as fair and equitable as we can and we promise to do that."

There are three possible locations on the table. One off I-630 near cedar street, the other off 12th street, and the third close to UALR where the Methodist Children's home is. Good admits there are disruptions no matter where they decide to build- but she looks forward to the benefits the park will bring, like jobs.

She's not alone,Bobbie Phillips thinks it's a great idea. She just doesn't want the park to put her out of her home of 25 years. "When you spend your life working and making a mortgage payment and you think that you are in the house where you are going to live and retire this is disruptive and sad for the neighbors that have already gone through that process."

Good says they will need 30 to 35 acres to build the park, and it will cost them around 50 million dollars. 22 million dollars is set to come from the increased sales tax that voters passed last year. The other part will come from private funds. Currently they have engineers checking out each of the three sites looking at the topography and road structure. For a detailed look at the three possible sitesclick here. 

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