Monday, April 30, 2012

TOP STORY >> Sherwood gets report on growth

Leader staff writer

The world of economic development is often hush-hush because nothing is guaranteed until all the contracts are signed.

Sherwood’s economic-development director Kelly Coughlin found that out right before making her first quarterly report to the city council Monday night.

“We are always working on things,” she said, “and thought we had something locked in and ready to announce, but they backed out at the last minute.”

Coughlin, 39, still can’t talk about it because the deal, in some form, could come back up.

Coughlin, of Cabot, has been on the job since the end of January when the city and the chamber entered into an agreement to let the chamber hire someone to pursue business growth for the city. Part of the agreement was that the council receive at least quarterly updates.

In her 10-minute presentation Monday, Coughlin told the council what she and the chamber were “bragging about” in hopes of bringing in new business and industry.

She said she was showcasing Sherwood “as a culturally rich city with a strong sense of identity.”

Coughlin also said the chamber was working on nominating Sherwood as Volunteer Community of the Year, working and extending the Arkansas River Trails through Sherwood, working on creating a Thursday night farmers market through the summer and working on getting a separate school district.

She was also working diligently to market and brand Sherwood. “We have a winning park system, high quality amenities and the safest neighborhoods, all while keeping our small-town character and history,” she said, adding that the chamber and her department are marketing the city’s “public involvement and civic leadership that values economical, ecological and social stewardship.”