In 2004, Springdale issued 242 commercial building permits valued at $125.7 million. Three years later and more than $500,000 paid to the Chamber for economic development, the commercial construction figures last year had fallen to only 161 permits with a value of $40.5 million. So far this year, they plummeted to 48 permits and $11.6 million. That's quite a serious drop, but you won't hear the Cowbirds taking any blame or explaining what went wrong with their alleged economic development strategy. In addition, sales tax revenues have tanked for 19 straight months.
Blame Bush. "It mirrors the national economy," said Perry Webb, Chief Apologist for the Springdale Cowbirds. "Construction runs in cycles, and we're down now. Nobody thought we could maintain the high levels we had perpetually." No, but they probably expected something for all the money they paid the Chamber every year. You did worse than "business unfriendly" Fayetteville.
Fayetteville used to pay the local Chamber about $100,000 a year for economic development, but even Fred Hanna could see that was a waste of money and put a stop to it. Springdale might catch on after the next election.