Special elections today in Avoca, Beaver Lake Fire District
BENTONVILLE — Voters in Avoca and the Beaver Lake Fire District will cast ballots in a pair of special elections today.
Fire district residents will be asked to approve an increase in annual dues from $ 75 to $ 150. The dues are assessed on all homes and businesses in the district. Avoca residents will be asked to approve the Sunday sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption.
Chief John Whisenant with the Beaver Lake Fire Department said the department is working on a plan to hire enough full- time employees to have two firefighters on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The department also needs to add on to the fire station to accommodate full-time crews and to buy some air bottles for the department’s breathing apparatus, since those the department now uses will expire next year, he said.
Dues have been at $75 a year since 2007, when voters approved an increase from $40, Whisenant said.
The Avoca election was the result of a petition drive by Stacey Latham and Stephanie Zortman, who own Two Sisterz Liquor in Avoca.
The women researched the legal requirements to hold a special election and put out a petition at the store, collecting 40 signatures, two more than the 38 needed, according to the Benton County Clerk’s Office. The women will pay the cost of the election, which will likely be around $5,000.
Voters in Avoca and the Beaver Lake Fire District can cast ballots at two polling places that will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. today.
Voting will take place at the Avoca Town Hall at 222 N. Old Wire Road and the Prairie Creek Association Community Center at 14432 E. Arkansas 12. Paper ballots will be available today only at the Election Commission office at 1204 S.W. 14th St. in Bentonville.