Faulkner County Judge Preston Scroggin will preside over Metroplan’s Board of Directors as president beginning in January of next year.

As president of the board that serves Little Rock and Central Arkansas’ metropolitan area, Scroggin will provide direction to Metroplan staff in carrying out federal transportation law requirements.

Scroggin will also develop agendas and subcommittees to assist area agencies in regional development.

According to Jim McKenzie, CEO of Metroplan, the organization takes a facilitative or planning role in the development of the metropolitan area in transportation infrastructure.

The agency also considers housing trends, population data, parks, and water and air quality.

"Communities lean on Metroplan to help with development in long term planning and short term planning, especially in walkable solutions for their cities," said Mark Rushing, Metroplan spokesperson.

Scroggin has served in dual roles in his work with Metroplan, both as a board member and as a county judge in the formation of the Lake Conway Watershed management program to address flooding and water quality issues associated with the low-lying floodplain. 

Work on the project has been ongoing.

As president of the board, Scroggin said he would work diligently to ensure that the stalled federal transportation bill is reauthorized.

"We’re going to work on several transportation projects," Scroggin said. "The biggest issue is that if Congress does not get a transportation bill passed in the next six months, state highway projects will not be started or will remain unfinished. We don’t have a funding bill yet." 

Scroggin said he also hopes to investigate the possibilities of compressed natural gas during his one-year term.

"That’s definitely something we’ll look at, but transportation is the biggest issue. That’s always been a passion of mine – planning and looking at long-term road construction. I’ve had a lot of experience in this in the last 10 years and it’s nearly a hobby," Scroggin said.

McKenzie said he looks forward to Scroggin’s term.

"He’s got an outstanding record as a public servant, both in the General Assembly and as county judge and frankly, we’re really excited about working with him this year," McKenzie said.

Scroggin will accept the appointment from the 2010 board president, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)