August 2017

An urban renewal agency is a public entity created to transform blighted urban areas into productive property. Such agencies typically possess powers including eminent domain and the ability to take out bonds. Pine Bluff created an urban renewal agency in 1961 and dissolved it roughly a decade later.
Mayor Shirley Washington will appoint five members to the board of the revived urban renewal agency, which will likely eventually receive funding from private or public revenue as part of the Go Forward Pine Bluff plan. Alderman Bruce Lockett said he supported the agency and believed it was the right vehicle to address blighted areas in the city. However, he said the council must make sure it provides proper oversight.
“We’ve got to make sure we’ve got transparency and accountability, because this agency will have the power to leverage [development in Pine Bluff] in the next generation,” Lockett said.