Mayor Firestone asked the Local Disaster Recovery Manager, Devin Howland, to speak at the City Hall meeting on January 20th, 2015 to discuss the recovery efforts to date. Devin explained how he ended up working on this recovery, going back to his initial efforts with the Economic Recovery Support Function which was activated under the National Disaster Recovery Framework. A broad overview was presented of the efforts on behalf of Metro Plan, Gateway, IEA-UALR, and UACDC, and an explanation of how all of the entities were working in sync with one another to put together a one of a kind product.
The importance of Economic and Community Development was brought up, and Devin explained this was a chance to control the growth coming to Vilonia. He stated “This is your chance to control that growth, if Walmart comes- we need to tell them where to locate- not the other way around”.