FORT SMITH, Ark. — Monday, Feb. 27, Fort Smith Mayor George McGill gave his annual ‘State of the City’ address that focused on job growth, infrastructure, and the opening of the U.S. Marshals Museum, as well as the city’s crime rate dropping by 10% in the last year.
“The state of Fort Smith is good, very good,” Mayor McGill said during the address, “Fort Smith is a growing region.”
McGill says job growth in Fort Smith is expanding. He points at Arkansas Colleges of Health Education, the future home of a foreign military training center at the 188th and development at Chaffee Crossing.
“Over 3500 new jobs have been created just by development [at Chaffe Crossing] alone right here in Fort Smith, Arkansas.”
In order to keep attracting people to Fort Smith, McGill says the city must improve the quality of life in the city.
“We must promote Fort Smith as a good place to live,” McGill said.
“Primarily, we’re working on providing more parks, more trails more activities at Paradise Island,” said Fort Smith City Administrator Carl Geffken.
The city is also hoping to attract tourists. During his address, Mayor McGill announced the U.S. Marshals Museum will open this year—something the city has been working on since 2007.
“Our goal is to open on the Fourth of July,” McGill said. “We will have one celebration.”
The mayor also spoke about the flooding of 2019, “The river was so high—it devastated our city,” McGill said.
Mayor McGill says the city is getting a FEMA reimbursement of about $10.5 million. Which will help with the city’s infrastructure.
“So, that money is going back to water and sewer activities to improve our infrastructure,” said Geffken.
During his address, Mayor McGill also gave an update on the foreign military training center at the 188th. He says an official announcement should come in the month. “The military sales mission, in my opinion, is coming to Fort Smith, Arkansas. We’re waiting on the record of the decision to be signed.