A waterfall in the heart of the Arkansas National Forest has cost $100.5 million to make, and that’s just one of many new projects to come in the state’s first year of fiscal 2018.
In total, about $2.5 billion was spent in fiscal 2018 to address a wide variety of projects across the state, including projects to improve drinking water, improve energy efficiency, enhance public health and address the opioid crisis.
The first $3.5-billion of that total was spent to improve water quality and water management and to repair water-damaged infrastructure in the region.
The next $2 billion was for water-treatment projects, such as treatment plants, water distribution systems and infrastructure for new and existing dams.
The $3 billion of funding will cover more than $1.2 billion in construction costs.
In addition, about one-third of the $3-billion total will be used to cover projects to create a sustainable water supply system for the state.
“We’ve been very focused on water for a long time.
The first priority is to restore our water supply, to protect our drinking water and to help the state,” said state Sen. James Eads, a Democrat from Conway.
“The rest of the money is going to help us get back to the water we used to have.”
Water quality, including the water in the lake, is already better than it was before the drought.
But some areas are still too high in chlorine, lead and arsenic levels.
Water quality testing has been improved.
Water management has also been improved in the past two years.
Eads said in the last fiscal year, water management was the third-highest priority in his state.
This fiscal year the priority was higher than the first two years combined.
“I’ve always been a strong believer that the more you spend, the more it helps,” he said.
“But we’ve also seen the state spend more money than we’ve ever spent.”
There are a number of other projects underway.
Waterways, bridges and tunnels have been built to extend and extend access to the lakes and to improve access to water in communities.
Eads said one of the major things the state is looking at is how to use water in new and innovative ways.
In the next fiscal year budget, about 10 percent of the state budget is going towards water infrastructure and the other 80 percent is going toward infrastructure for the parks, recreation and economic development.
“You see water in some of these parks and you see water coming into other parts of the parks and recreation, and you’ll see that water is more efficient and cleaner than it’s ever been,” he added.
The state is also looking at ways to use more water, including a proposal to use $2 million of the remaining $1 billion in funding for a project to add water treatment plants to some of the largest water bodies in the world.
Easts office also has been working with other agencies to address the heroin crisis.
The state recently released the first-ever statewide report on the heroin epidemic, which shows that the number of heroin deaths in Arkansas fell nearly 75 percent from 2016 to 2019.
Eades said he wants to see the state take a “tough stance” against drugs.
He wants to be proactive, not reactive, and wants the state to take a lead role in ending the opioid epidemic.
“There are more people coming through the door every day, and we have to make sure that we are treating them with dignity, compassion, and respect,” he told the Register.
“There is a lot of anger out there.
We are going to make it work.
We have a long way to go.”