TECHNICAL PLANNING ASSISTANCE:
Local governments who are members of SARPC pay membership dues in the amount of $0.63 per capita. This amount has not been changed since the inception of SARPC. Membership dues are paid to provide technical planning assistance to our member governments at their request and to provide a variety of information to members of the general public as they may require. Technical planning assistance is one of the most important functions of our agency. It is valuable to the cities and the county to have a professional planning staff available to conduct special projects, particularly those that are occasional or one-time-only undertakings. It is also valuable to the City as a whole in that SARPC provides a variety of land use, transportation, Census, and other information to the general public on an on-going basis.
Much of our technical planning assistance to member governments is requested because a SARPC member has an immediate problem that needs to be addressed without delay. That SARPC is a council of governments is an advantage to our members because many programs are regional in nature and require the cooperation and coordination of two or more local governments. Technical planning assistance performed by SARPC in the recent past has included the preparation of grant applications, annexation studies and annexation petitions, reviewing data for the U.S. Census, reapportionment of population to wards, redrawing ward boundaries, and coordinating Federal and State mandates for member governments such as storm water management and hazard mitigation issues. SARPC created the Pine Bluff Weed and Seed Initiative that allowed University Park in north Pine Bluff to be designated as an official Department of Justice Weed and Seed Site in 2000 and also prepared the Central Park Weed and Seed Initiative that resulted in the Central Park Neighborhood receiving official designation as a Weed and Seed site in 2006. The City has received over $1 million in Federal funds as a result of these initiatives. Other successful recent grant applications prepared by SARPC include park grants for the Cities of Pine Bluff, White Hall, Redfield, and Humphrey, AHTD Enhancement and Trails grants for Pine Bluff and White Hall, and City of Pine Bluff’s Continuum of Care Supportive Housing Program grant application and subsequent Technical Submission required prior to receiving the grant funds. SARPC also prepares the City of Pine Bluff’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan and each annual element along with the program’s annual Environmental Review record.