Today we said, “Welcome Home!” to the Director of the U.S. Marshals Service and his delegation from Washington, D.C. Tomorrow is the fish fry luncheon — even if you haven’t made your reservations, come on down to the Fort Smith City Center at 11:30 tomorrow.
Governor Mike Beebe flew in from a hectic legislative session to be here and welcome Director Clark on behalf of the entire state. My dear friends Richard Davies and Tony Perrin with Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism were here today — positively beaming.
This is, indeed, an Arkansas and Oklahoma victory. We’re flattered that our Arlansas lawmakers are filing such generous bills on behalf of the museum. We also know that this is the beginning of the legislative process, and rarely does the outcome resemble the first draft. We’re honored to be considered. We’re Arkansas taxpayers and we want surplus funding decisions to be ethical, responsible, and excellent investments for our entire state. The U.S. Marshals Service Museum means up to $7 million in annual revenues. State funding could get us started toward a national campaign. We’ll be pleased and honored by whatever the legislature and the governor belie makes sense on behalf of the entire state.
Here’s what Governor Beebe had to say during his brief time in Fort Smith today.
The governor also spoke about a request from Rep. Jim Medley of Fort Smith for $25 million in extra funding from the state Department of Parks and Tourism to fund the planning and construction of the museum.
“The question is whether or not there’ll be enough money to give from the state. Our first priority for those extra funds is public schools. Once that’s done, the other projects for economic development and higher education… will get rank order.”