It appears the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame will soon be getting a conference center.

Hall of Fame Executive Director Ray Tucker wrote a letter on Aug. 13 to North Little Rock Mayor Patrick Hays to inform him that the facility is expected to be built this fall.

The letter was made public on Aug. 27 when the North Little Rock City Council met during a regular session.

"This new facility, named in honor of Jimmie Lou and Floyd Sagely of Fort Smith, will expand the square footage of the Hall of Fame to 26,000 square feet," Tucker said. "We anticipate that construction of the conference center will take six to eight months."

Once finished, Tucker said, the Hall of Fame will be making a total investment in Verizon of $6.5 million.

"The museum opened in April 2007 and the conference center will open in the summer of 2013," according to Tucker. "Along with the $1 million grant from EDA, 43 individuals and companies have contributed to this project."

The completed center will enable the Hall of Fame to have earned income through the rental of space, along with attracting new visitors to the museum, according to Tucker.

"The conference center will be catered by the Verizon Arena and will be open 52 weeks a year," Tucker said.

Tucker added that the Hall of Fame is planning to host a groundbreaking for the conference center in the future. No groundbreaking date has been set as of yet.

— In other business, the council approved the expenditure of $3,760 to pay for the registration fees of four North Little Rock firefighters to attend a Fire Department Instructor Conference in Indianapolis, Ind. The cost for registration is $940 per person, according to the resolution.

"I am requesting that you sponsor legislation for four firefighters to attend FDIC Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.," North Little Rock Fire Chief Robert Mauldin asked Hays in the form of a letter on July 31. "This offers hands-on training and lecture training that is second to none."

— The council also approved a request from Sam Hilburn of North Little Rock to grant him a special use permit allowing outside diagnostic and service work on diesel trucks in a C-4 zone at 11800 Maybelline Road, North Little Rock. The request had been approved earlier by the North Little Rock Planning Commission.