Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce seeks public’s help in infrastructure growth

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Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce seeks public's help in infrastructure growth

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA)– The Rogers-Lowell area is growing exponentially, forcing infrastructure to catch up.

The Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce is bringing in more businesses to accommodate the growing population, but with a full downtown, some might question the logistics.

Raymond Burns, the president and CEO of the Rogers-Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce, said, “We’re growing really rapidly and there has to be good planning that goes along with that.”

Burns said every single day the population of Northwest Arkansas grows by 30 people.

“In less than 15 years, we’ll be at 100,000 people in Rogers and Lowell,” he said.

This is a situation the Vision 100 Community Action Plan was created to manage.

Burns said, “It’s a chance for our community to help say what they want our community to look like.”

The five stage plan relies heavily on community input, asking residents and businesses to tell the chamber how they want to handle the increase in infrastructure that comes with more people in the area.

The first stage was setting up a Steering Community, the next is coordinating community input through an online survey and community tables held around the area, the third is compiling all the suggestions and publishing it for review, the fourth is unveiling the complete “Vision 100 Action Plan” in October, and the last is deploying a “Keeper of the Vision” campaign.

Burns said his team is adding more buildings than they’re tearing down to save the city’s historic value.

“When we can’t sprawl and move out, then we have to start building up,” Burns said.

Abbey Allen, the head manager at Onyx Coffee Lab at the 1907, said, “It’s important to us to restore the beauty of downtown Rogers and celebrate it, and also bring in really beautiful modern parts of it also.”

The 1907 is a newly renovated building that already encompasses multiple businesses inside it.

Allen said for her, it’s important that people, no matter if they’re locals or just visiting, get that nostalgic feeling of what the area used to look like.

She said, “People that are like, ‘I rode my bike down here when I was six-years-old and it was the Dollar Saver and now it’s this beautiful building.’ Getting to be a part of the evolution of downtown Rogers is really special to us.”

Burns said, “That’s what vision is all about. It’s getting everyone involved in the solution, and while we won’t be able to satisfy everyone, and we will never have enough money to do everything we need to do, at least we can try to stay even or ahead of the curve as we continue to grow.”

You can submit your opinion on the development here.

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