how's blytheville doing since the Air...

how's blytheville doing since the Air Force Base moved out??

Posted in the Blytheville Forum

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minnie gail

Finley, TN

#1 Nov 3, 2008
I know the base has been gone a long time, but just wondered how the town has been affected? i lived there for several years and have a lot of fond memories of your town....
Willie Loomis

Charlestown, IN

#2 Nov 3, 2008
There are parts of town that remind me of a third world country. People don't take care of their property, cars and junk in the yards, vacant houses, and buildings on main street that need torn down. You would be advised to have a burgular alarm installed in your home. Lock your car doors at all times. Don't even think about leaving a mower or bike unattended on your property.

The good side is that the Dixie Pig still puts out the best sandwich in the country.
guest

Little Rock, AR

#4 Nov 3, 2008
It's gone downhill if you ask me. Kinda depressing.
Gross

Jonesboro, AR

#5 Nov 3, 2008
truth wrote:
Are you crazy???!!!!What country are you from?? Dixie Pig is the most nasty,dry,YUUUUK BBQ ever! What do you work there or own the place? Great place for all the gladhanders to meet up. Other than that the food AND I MEAN ALL of it is just NASTY!!!!
Whatever! I live in Jonesboro now and I drive all the way to blytheville just for Dixie Pig! You are CRAZY!
But back to the question...

When the base left, it pretty much sucked all the life out of blytheville. The town stopped growing, and has probably been shrinking. All that's left are farmers and steel mill workers. It's not a safe place to live anymore. When I was a Junior in high school back in 98 my CAR was stolen from the bowling ally parking lot in broad day light! It's very sad. I remember blytheville back in the 80s, before the base left, and it was like a different world from what it is now. Some of the housing on the base has been used for a retirement community, but over half have been unoccupied since the base left. It's very sad driving back through the back of the base, houses with trees growing in them, roofs collapsing, front yards grown up like a jungle. It's like a ghost town. I think they should have used ALL the housing for something... its such a waste. And its a breeding ground for crime back there....
Fact

United States

#6 Nov 4, 2008
The closed base is an albatross ALL the citizens of Blytheville got stuck with IMO. The city can't afford to keep up the main parts of town but has to provide police and such way out there. About the only one making out on the deal is Gurley. Like everything else, Blytheville missed its window of opportunity when it first closed. Now, everything needs MAJOR repair before anyone can even think of doing something with a building out there. Oh, the project also has to pass muster with yet ANOTHER gov't. entity, no matter how much good it could do for Blytheville as a whole.
Too Late

United States

#7 Nov 4, 2008
Blytheville got stuck with a dead albatross IMO. The city can't afford to keep up the main part of town but has to provide police protection and such clear out there. The only one who made out on the deal was Gurley.
Zigziegler

United States

#8 Nov 4, 2008
See what your question turned into above. They are fussing over the Dixie Pig. This site is so dumb. Back to your question. The town is starting to recover. First it was the AFB and 5000 people but then another 3000 jobs lost to Mexico and NAFTA. People are buying buildings on Main, fewer houses are for sale, great jobs all over the county, lots of building going on, cant find anything to rent, while there have been many house torn down there are still plenty left. The people have voted to build a new sportscomplex, golf course and a couple other things. You will find that the people that live here are pretty happy about the direction things are going. Most people will complain on this site about anything and then turn it in to something else like BBQ and then tell you they dont even live here. You cant take a AFB and 3000 more jobs out of an area without seeing a neg change. The good part is the people that are working to make it better are really making it better. They will tell you its fun to be part of the change.
guest

United States

#9 Nov 4, 2008
Wow. what a perspective. I live on the base, and far from being an "albatross" I see it as a great place. It serves as a vital retirement community for folks over 55. The houses have been renovated and it is clean, safe, and well kept. The seniors have a chapel, a cafe, a pool, a gym, a craft hut, a woodworking shop, and other activities. They have a nurse on call 24/7, full time maintenance, yard service, and security, and a shuttle to drive them if they don't want to.
On the South side, there is a community called SouthePointe. These are also base housing that has been renovated and rented. Rental housing is hard to find in Blytheville, so this housing is meeting a need in this area. The homes are well kept and maintained, with the same on call maintenance, yard service and security staff Westminster enjoys.
In addition, quite a few businesses and industries have come out to the base and are utilizing the unique characteristics it has to offer, including an industry that maintains and repairs aircraft. The large hangars and the airstrip are perfect for this industry, and our officials did a great job of finding the right fit for this company's needs.

Yes, there are some houses on base that still need repair, but they are being renovated as quickly as they can be. It can't all be done in an instant. There are some empty buildings on base, but it is no longer an active base. I personally think we should be grateful for the great things we do have out here, instead of bemoaning the things we don't.

There are two active, well maintained, safe communities on base as well as industries and businesses. There is a daycare, a beauty shop, a photography studio, a headstart, a sheltered workshop, a fire department, a shooting range, and other things.

Doesn't sound like an "albatross" to me.
guest

United States

#10 Nov 4, 2008
"Over half" of the base is not unoccupied. The police department patrols here because a great many people live out here. It is not a "breeding ground" for crime. There has NEVER been any violent crime out here. There has been some vandalism, but even that has stopped. Living on base is much safer than living in any other area of Blytheville.
Messed Up

United States

#11 Nov 4, 2008
guest wrote:
The police department patrols here because *a great many* people live out here.
What, about 300 at the most, compared to HOW MANY in Blytheville proper? How about WMV footing the bill for police and fire services?
Alfred E Newman

Little Rock, AR

#12 Nov 4, 2008
Gross wrote:
<quoted text>
When the base left, it pretty much sucked all the life out of blytheville. The town stopped growing, and has probably been shrinking. All that's left are farmers and steel mill workers. It's not a safe place to live anymore. When I was a Junior in high school back in 98 my CAR was stolen from the bowling ally parking lot in broad day light! It's very sad. I remember blytheville back in the 80s, before the base left, and it was like a different world from what it is now.
Things that have occurred since the base closed:

Immediate loss of population...easy to explain.

Influx of thousands of new jobs...thanks to the steel industry and more jobs on the way. Blytheville and Mississippi County is one of the "hot spots" in Arkansas for industrial jobs.

Gosnell school has increased enrollment back to the size prior to base closure.

Armorel school has tripled in size.

Blytheville school has lost students because white folks do not want little jr. going to school with black kids...just the straight up truth.

Four new subdivisions in the city with a 5th beginning to develop...several more east of town.

No businesses on the east side of interstate prior to base closure....now take a look.

Main street is coming back strong.

One of the top rated sports complexes in the entire Mid-South that has attracted literally thousands of out of town and out of state summer visitors.

One of the top golf courses in Arkansas...players from a tri-state area regularly come into Blytheville to play.

If you want to sit around and piss and moan, knock yourself out, but there are some that are determined to move this town forward.
Observer

United States

#13 Nov 4, 2008
guest wrote:
Wow. what a perspective. I live on the base, and far from being an "albatross" I see it as a great place. It serves as a vital retirement community for folks over 55. The houses have been renovated and it is clean, safe, and well kept. The seniors have a chapel, a cafe, a pool, a gym, a craft hut, a woodworking shop, and other activities. They have a nurse on call 24/7, full time maintenance, yard service, and security, and a shuttle to drive them if they don't want to.
On the South side, there is a community called SouthePointe. These are also base housing that has been renovated and rented. Rental housing is hard to find in Blytheville, so this housing is meeting a need in this area. The homes are well kept and maintained, with the same on call maintenance, yard service and security staff Westminster enjoys.
In addition, quite a few businesses and industries have come out to the base and are utilizing the unique characteristics it has to offer, including an industry that maintains and repairs aircraft. The large hangars and the airstrip are perfect for this industry, and our officials did a great job of finding the right fit for this company's needs.
Yes, there are some houses on base that still need repair, but they are being renovated as quickly as they can be. It can't all be done in an instant. There are some empty buildings on base, but it is no longer an active base. I personally think we should be grateful for the great things we do have out here, instead of bemoaning the things we don't.
There are two active, well maintained, safe communities on base as well as industries and businesses. There is a daycare, a beauty shop, a photography studio, a headstart, a sheltered workshop, a fire department, a shooting range, and other things.
Doesn't sound like an "albatross" to me.
If WMV would lower the rent and finish replacing the roofs in the occupied units, there would be a lot more people living there. These people are on fixed incomes so why do they keep raising the rent which is already too high? And nobody wants to live in a leaking unit which contibutes to mold and an unhealthy living environment.

“Semper Fidelis”

Since: Oct 07

Blytheville, AR

#14 Nov 4, 2008
Why did you feel the need to post two things in a row using different names? Do you think people can't figure that out? Obviously you have an axe to grind.
Too Late wrote:
Blytheville got stuck with a dead albatross IMO. The city can't afford to keep up the main part of town but has to provide police protection and such clear out there. The only one who made out on the deal was Gurley.
WoWsa

Pascagoula, MS

#15 Nov 4, 2008
This is why Blytheville's topix access should be banned. Someone asks a question and it immediatly turns sour. I Love the Dixie Pig. No,I don't work there or own it. I have many fond memories of the AFB. Didn't work there either. There are a handful of people that really work hard to turn things around there, but just like this website it is met with nasty hateful resistence. Haven't been to b-ville in along time and have no plans to go. When I left it was just like this website. A snake pit full of vipers with a very few exceptions. I do however check in on this page occasionally to see if the people have in anyway redeemed themselves, I am sad to report "they have not".
New Name

United States

#16 Nov 4, 2008
Rayzor wrote:
Why did you feel the need to post two things in a row using different names?
The first one didn't show up shortly after it was made. Guess Topix doesn't work if the sun isn't up yet or something...

“Semper Fidelis”

Since: Oct 07

Blytheville, AR

#17 Nov 4, 2008
That makes sense. I was just curious.
New Name wrote:
<quoted text>The first one didn't show up shortly after it was made. Guess Topix doesn't work if the sun isn't up yet or something...
guest

Little Rock, AR

#18 Nov 4, 2008
Messed Up wrote:
<quoted text>What, about 300 at the most, compared to HOW MANY in Blytheville proper? How about WMV footing the bill for police and fire services?
WMV is in the city limits, peckerneck.
visiting

Marshall, TX

#20 Nov 4, 2008
The govt. should have dumped the base on gosnell since its right next door. BLY. knew it was going to lose revenue with the closing and so many jobs/people leaving.
guest

United States

#21 Nov 4, 2008
blytheville had a chance to sell the base to fed ex but jacked the price so high, because some of the good ole boys would lose their high paid do nothing for the town jobs, that Fred Smith backed out of the purchase.
guest

Jacksonville, AR

#22 Nov 4, 2008
I didn't take my child out of Bly schools because I didn't want him going to school with black kids. I took him out because of the PITIFUL test scores. When they can't even make it into double digits in literacy and math for years in a row, something has to be done.
I don't care if my kid is the only white kid in the whole dang district.
I care very much if he can read, write, and do math.
Literacy scores at 12%??
Math scores at 9%??
I don't think so. I know the district has some issues, but come on. Lots of people feel the same. We are accused of being racist, but it has nothing to do with the fact that the school is predominantly black and everything to do with the fact the school is predominantly FAILING to teach our children.

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