Benton County to spend $100,000 to fix plumbing issues in downtown building

BENTONVILLE — Benton County Justices of the Peace authorized an emergency measure to spend $100,000 to repair plumbing in the County Administration Building.

The item was on the agenda for Tuesday’s full committee meeting.

Carl Holley Plumbing of Siloam Springs on Friday inspected a 26-year-old cast-iron pipe in the building’s basement, said Bryan Beeson, administrative manager for the district facilities. The 6-inch line is 200 feet long and is the main plumbing line from the building, he said.

Beeson told the college court that the plumbing line was rusting. He said a crew dried the line and will then put in epoxy liners to fix the rusting problem. Beeson believes the work will be complete by Friday.

He said the $100,000 will go towards repair work and two air-conditioned portable toilets located outside of the building.

The building was closed on Friday so the issue could be assessed. The building was open again on Monday, but without access to the bathroom.

There are 36 sinks, 28 toilets and eight urinals in the building, Beeson said.

Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said earlier in the session that the toilets were closed and the portable ones were available.

The justices of the peace voted 14-0 to approve the spending request.

Money for the repair will come from the county’s general fund, Beeson said.

The justices of the peace approved two resolutions calling special elections for Sunday alcohol sales in Rogers and Bentonville.

The Bentonville clerk validated 2,300 signatures Monday to certify the issuance for the vote. The Rogers town clerk validated 2,450 signatures on June 30 to mail the issue to constituents there.

The committee also discussed a proposal to purchase eight fire engines for rural fire departments using funds the county received from the American Rescue Plan Act. The trucks would cost $2.7 million.

Justice of the Peace Tom Allen said the district’s priority should be to use the money for the planned prison expansion.

“I want to support as much as I can, but sometimes we have to make tough decisions, and that’s where I’m at,” Allen said.

Justice of the Peace Joel Jones said he saw the need for new trucks but shared Allen’s view. Jones said he could support getting two trucks out of federal money but could not support spending $2.7 million.

Jones said the Quorum Court could consider the matter again if the prison expansion tax hike fails in the Nov. 8 election.

Justice of the Peace Susan Anglin requested that bailout money be used to purchase two trucks at $350,000 each.

Justice of the Peace Kurt Moore, chairman of the committee, supported Anglin’s motion. The vote in support of Anglin’s motion to purchase two trucks was passed.

The three items will be on the agenda for the July 28 Quorum Court session.

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