Benton council faces packed agenda Monday night

The Benton City Council will vote on five ordinances Monday night during its regular monthly meeting. Each of the ordinances is presented by the Finance Committee.

Ordinance 44 is set to appropriate a total of $1.250 million for street improvement projects in the areas of Christy Acres, Pamela Street, Princeton/Montclair Streets, Longview Street and Overview Street.

Mayor David Mattingly in March asked for a listing of recommended street improvement projects by ward.

He asked that the two aldermen from each ward work together to form the priority list for the respective areas. In April, the lists were discussed during the Street Committee meeting and a final list was created.

Funding for the improvements will come from two city accounts. A total of $1.175 million will be appropriated from the quarter-cent tax fund and the remaining $75,000 will come from the regular street fund.

"Now that the Military Road project is over and we have paid the last bill, the city has focused on other street projects," Mattingly noted.

The Princeton/Montclair project includes rebuilding drainage walls that are slowly collapsing into a creek.
Ordinance 48 has been drafted to appropriate funds for the parks department to purchase additional land near the Riverside Center complex.

According to the ordinance, the Saline County Fair Board "has agreed to sell five acres of land adjacent to the city's property, conditioned upon the board having access to the land for parking during the county fair and other large events occur."

Saline County Judge Lanny Fite has, according to the ordinance, "agreed to declare the property as surplus and sell it in accordance with Arkansas law, conditioned upon the city and the county entering into a memorandum of understanding prior to the sale of the property pertaining to usage of the land by the board." Funds to purchase the property will be appropriated from the quality-of-life sales tax approved by Benton voters in the fall of 2013 for improvements to the city's parks.

The land is located south of the fairground arena and north of Jackman Street. The term of the agreement is set for 25 years and the county "shall pay the city the sum of $1 per year for the rights" outlined in the agreement with the city.

The site will be converted to a paved parking lot. The county will have access to the lot for three events each calendar year. One of the events will be the Saline County Fair. The other two events "will be at the discretion of the county, provided that reasonable notice is given to the city, but in no event shall the county give to the city less than 90 days' written notice before the event occurs."

In other business, an ordinance to levy a tax on all real and personal property in the city will be voted upon. This is a routine ordinance that each city in the county must pass on an annual basis.

A resolution authorizing the execution of an agreement with McClelland Consulting Engineers and Iowa Bridge and Culvert for the design and construction of the Northshore drainage improvements will be considered as well.

The council meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at Benton Municipal Complex, 114 S. East St.
Prior to the council meeting at 6:15 p.m., a joint meeting of the Finance Committee and the Parks Committee will be held.