Benton considering eminent domain to seize property

The Benton City Council will discuss potentially seizing certain property for the Alcoa Road improvement project through eminent domain at the regularly scheduled council meeting on Monday, June 9.

Alderman Charles Cunningham will present the ordinance. Ordinance 25 will authorize the city to seize necessary lands for the Alcoa Road project by eminent domain.

Briggs Field Services negotiated with property owners on behalf of the city and found it was not possible to acquire some of the necessary property through negotiation and purchase. If approved, nine properties will be seized through eminent domain.

They are 6513 Alcoa Road, owned by Joe E. and Pat M. Ioup; 6817 Alcoa Road, owned by Carl Eckhardt and Meleah Carter, trustees, and Debra and James R. Ramsey; 4523 Sleepy Village Road, owned by Eustorgio and Obdulla Couto; 5925 Alcoa Road, owned by Larry Teeter; the north east corner of Alcoa Road and Sleepy Village Road, owned by Larry and Donna Teeter; 5150 Alcoa Road; 6712 Alcoa Road, owned by Larry Reynolds; 6802 and 6900 Alcoa Road, owned by Dalton Beaty, trustee; and 2303 Lee Circle, owned by Stinson and Doris Bailey.

This ordinance also authorizes the mayor to pay into the registry of the Saline County Circuit Court the appraised value of said lands and other sums as may be determined by the Circuit Court to be just compensation to the owners.

Alderman Cunningham will also present two resolutions on behalf of the Streets and Drainage Committee. Resolution 26 will authorize the execution of an agreement with Crafton, Tull & Associates Inc. for the design of Longview Street. This agreement will allow Crafton, Tull & Associates to provide engineering services for complete reconstruction of Longview Street to include, but not limited to, new storm drainage, utility relocation, widening and possible realignment of the street. The expected cost of the Longview Street project is $452,283.48, including engineering costs.

Resolution 27 authorizes the abandonment of an alley located at the 600 block of South East Street. It has been determined that a commercial development will take place at the location if the city abandons the alley. The city determined that the alley is not necessary for highway purposes and the abandonment will be of an economic benefit to the city.

Mayor David Mattingly will present Ordinance 27 which provides for the sale of public property. The mayor determined that there is a surplus of property and the ordinance will allow the property to be sold at public auction on June 12.

The property to be auctioned includes a 2002 Chevrolet truck, two 2004 Dodge Ram 2500 trucks, a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 truck, a 2004 International 4400, two 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks, a 1994 Chevrolet cab/chassis, a 1996 GMC 1 ton, a 1999 Jeep Cherokee, a 200 Jeep Cherokee, a 1987 Ford Tanker Sludge Truck, a 1991 Dodge Ram Truck, a 1995 GMC truck, a 1996 Dodge Ram truck, a 1991 Chevrolet, and three 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 trucks.

The mayor also will present Resolution 25 which authorizes the Benton District Court to destroy certain records prior to 2006. Arkansas law allows the district court to destroy certain records after the passage of time. All the records to be destroyed have been retained for at least three years and have been audited. The records are to be destroyed by the end of this year by burning/shredding said records.

The records to be destroyed are bank reconciliations, check book registers/check listings, canceled checks, bank statements, receipts, deposit collection records, receipts listings, distribution reports, receipt and disbursement journals, time payment records, citation book logs, citation books from each police department and sheriff's office, copies of citations, alternative service or community serve time sheets, uniform filing fees collection remittance forms and fine reports, served warrants and miscellaneous fees and fine collection reports. All documents are from the time period between 1980 and 2005.

In other business, Alderman Lori Terrell will present three ordinances on behalf of the Community Services/Animal Control committee. Ordinance No. 28 of 2014 will rezone land in the city of Benton. The rezone application was filed with the Planning Commission by Anna Wilson.

A public hearing was held on May 13 to hear the application. 801 Lillian street will be rezoned from single-family residential to multi-family residential with passage of the ordinance.

Ordinance 29 will also rezone land in the city of Benton. The application was filed by J.T. Meister, Jr., owner of LBDG Consultants. A public hearing was held May 13 to hear the application. The east side of the 600 block of South East Street at its intersection with Edison Avenue will be rezoned from service commercial to neighborhood commercial with the passage of the ordinance.

Ordinance 30 will rezone land after an application was filed by Summerwood Partners. A public hearing was held May 13 to hear the application. Lots 1, 2, 3, and block 4 of Neeley's Addition at the Southwest Corner of Columbia Street and Neeley Street will be rezoned from single-family residential to service commercial with the passage of the ordinance.

Alderman James Herzfeld will present two ordinances on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission. Ordinance 26 amends Ordinance 27 of 2012 which adopted the customer service rules, regulations and fees from the Benton Utilities Department. The ordinance changes the fees associated with water service and states that the water department crews will open and close the ditches for water pipe installation. They will also provide a bore or asphalt repair for service installation. Additionally, the ordinance charges a connection fee of only $500 per meter for new subdivisions.

Ordinance 31 waives competitive bidding and authorizes and ratifies the rehabbing of a 1997 Simon-Telelect bucket unit with a Ford F-800 chasis for the Benton Utilities electric department. This will allow Benton Utilities to purchase from Terex Services all supplies necessary as well as labor to repair the vehicle. The total cost is $98,500 plus applicable taxes.

The mayor plans to present two service awards. Lt. Kevin Russell and Officer Chris Miller of the Benton Police Department will receive service awards for 15 and 10 years, respectively.

Alderman Bill Donnor will present the Employee of the Month Award to Detective Eli Fowlkes for Apr.
All committee and council meetings are open to the public.

Monday's council meeting is set for 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Benton Municipal Complex.