City of Batesville Makes Polk Bayou Progress


March 30, 2016 (Batesville, AR)—Today marked the completion of a monumental project for

the City of Batesville and Independence County: the removal of two large sewer pipes from the

Polk Bayou.

In 2011 the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) assembled an ad hock committee of

over 60 interested citizens and community leaders to investigate the feasibility of developing

the Polk Bayou. With financial support from First Community Bank, the City of Batesville was

able to apply for and receive a matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Parks and

Tourism to conduct a professional economic impact study. The study proved the bayou’s water

was in excellent condition and safe for use. But development was stalled by the sewer pipes

that were prohibitive to making the bayou attractive to and navigable by visitors.

City of Batesville Engineer Damon Johnson said of the pipe removal project, “The upper sewer

bayou crossing is being removed today. The sewer crossing was taken out of service in 2015 but

high water levels had prevented removing the pipe until now. This [removal] will allow canoes

and other watercraft to navigate the bayou freely.”

BACC President/CEO Crystal Johnson added: “There are many people in our community who

have worked very hard to make these changes happen. We appreciate the City of Batesville for

making the removal of these two pipes a priority in their program of work. The Polk Bayou is

an underutilized asset that we can now promote to visitors for use.”

The Polk Bayou became available for watercraft navigation immediately upon the pipes’