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Port of Little Rock Secures 130-Acre Tract

The Little Rock Port Authority has secured deals worth $3.7 million to purchase nearly 300 acres, including a 130-acre tract that port officials say would in turn free up nearly 1,000 acres of port property to establish a large site for heavy manufacturing.

The authority's board of directors on Wednesday authorized negotiation of a deal to purchase 155 acres worth up to $3.1 million from the Quapaw Nation, land that state and local officials thought would become the site for a casino.

The terms include the purchase of 77.5 acres within 60 days for $1.45 million and an option to buy the remaining 77.5 acres in two years for $1.7 million. The tribe would continue to own about 5 acres it considers sacred ground.

The board also voted to approve a deal worth $450,000 on a 140-acre site to relocate a land-based aircraft navigation aid, a radio beacon, which is surrounded by port property. Rules governing the operation of a navigation aid don't permit heavy industrial development around it.

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