Waldron residents got a chance to speak to the governor on Wednesday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson visited Dalton's Place Assisted Living at around 3 p.m. Wednesday for a meet and greet with Waldron Mayor Neil Cherry and city locals. Hutchinson said the purpose of his visit to was primarily to listen.
Prior to coming to Dalton's Place, Hutchinson arrived at Waldron City Hall at about 2 p.m. for a discussion, Cherry said.
"We talked about the needs of the city of Waldron, the needs of Scott County, our state highways, our accesses that we're being denied from the state highway department, and how can we overcome the problems," Cherry said.
Hutchinson said in addition to Scott County and Waldron officials present at the city hall discussion, were state Sen. Terry Rice, state. Rep. Marcus Richmond and some business leaders.
In a speech he made after shaking hands and talking to residents at Dalton's Place, Hutchinson said he is about driving the economy. He believes residents in Scott County have got a great opportunity.
"If we can continue our highway development of I-49, the future of this area is incredibly bright," Hutchinson said. "We just got to improve that access north and south through here and all of a sudden the western corridor is developed and western Arkansas is boom town. And so that's important for our long-term future, and that means we'll have to have a new highway plan to help fund the highway needs in Arkansas. But it's also about access to high-speed, or as someone said, any-speed internet."
Hutchinson said high-speed internet is necessary to attract businesses and help them operate.
"I believe fundamentally that you recruit industry to a state because we've got great workers," Hutchinson said. "We got a good education system that we want to improve our job skill training to improve our construction workers and have more of those, our welders. Those are very important jobs. Not everybody goes to college and gets a degree, so we want to have those opportunities. So it's about that infrastructure."
Hutchinson said he wants to be able to lower the income tax rate in Arkansas as well. He also said this is a campaign year, so he is running for re-election.
Cherry described the discussion at city hall and the meet and greet at Dalton's Place as very productive.
"I'm proud of our governor," Cherry said. "I think he's a wonderful man. I think when he tells me something, I think we can take it to the bank. He means what he says, and if he can help, he will. That's the way I feel about it."