The Western Arkansas Planning and Development District board of directors will receive information from two guest speakers during its meeting at noon Wednesday.
Sasha Grist, executive director of WAPDD, said the meeting will really consist of two guest speakers. The board will have no items on which they need to vote as a board, he said.
Mat Pitsch, executive director of the Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority will give an update on the status of the projects on which the WAIA is working. It will probably be a kind of overview of some of the things that were mentioned during the WAIA board meeting Monday, Grist said.
During that meeting, John Vickerman of Vickerman & Associates, a Virginia-based consulting firm hired by WAIA to search for companies interested in building an inland intermodal facility in Van Buren, said two companies — Union Pacific Railroad and Ports America — expressed interest in the project. Community leaders signed an exclusive memorandum of understanding Monday with Ports America on the project.
"So he'll just explain that the RFEI (Request for Expressions of Interest) process is toward an end, and that we have already been in contact with entities on their interest in the project, so the RFEI is on hold currently, and we're going to have this six-month time period to work with Ports America," Grist said. "So I really feel like he will probably give a brief overview of that, as well as any other projects that he might see that are going to be coming up for discussion with the Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority."
Pamela Sue Willrodt, a demographer with the Arkansas Economic Development Institute will be talking about the local update of Census addresses program, including what it is, the process and what it means for cities if the United States Census Bureau does not have the correct census information.
The meeting will be held in the West Room of the Fort Smith Riverfront Events Building.
The agenda states the next WAPDD meeting after the one held Wednesday will take place June 27.