Ben­tonville erred in just go­ing with the flow

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - EDITORIAL PAGE -

Con­cern­ing the Bella Vista Lake/creek dis­cus­sion, I con­fess I live in Bella Vista, so my opin­ion is con­sid­ered worth­less to the Ben­tonville power bro­kers. I do walk around the area al­most every day. We in Bella Vista knew the dam sys­tem was old and in­ef­fec­tive. A new dam was needed, so we were thrilled to hear Ben­tonville would take cus­to­di­an­ship of the area and the city had the funds needed to in­stall a new dam sys­tem. Our Vet­er­ans Wall of Honor de­served a beau­ti­ful and tran­quil lo­ca­tion.

Now Ben­tonville has be­trayed us by forc­ing the area to go au na­turel. The rea­son: Mother Na­ture knows best. I’m sorry to dis­agree with the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists push­ing for this change, but that logic is not al­ways true.

Was the Corps of Engi­neers fool­ish to es­tab­lish Beaver Lake? Was Alice Wal­ton wrong to take a flood plain area and turn it into Crys­tal Bridges lake? Did the Ben­tonville park sys­tem engi­neers even re­search the rea­son the Bella Vista lake was es­tab­lished?

The lake re­duced the stag­nant pools that ac­cu­mu­late in the area, pro­duc­ing foul smells and at­tract­ing mos­qui­toes. The lake level could be kept at a sta­ble level (ex­cept for 100 year floods) al­low­ing chil­dren and the el­derly to fish off the shore from the park­ing lot. Now only the ad­ven­ture­some can make the walk or climb down to the wa­ter.

The land around the creek is over­grown with weeds and muddy. The creek level will fluc­tu­ate, dis­cour­ag­ing fish to live in its wa­ters. It’s also not as if the creek dis­ap­peared when the lake ex­isted. It was a free-flow­ing creek on both ends of the lake and we ben­e­fited from hav­ing the best of both worlds. Yes, there were prob­lems but a new mo­dem dam would solve those prob­lems. I am not sure how long it will take for Ben­tonville Parks and the city fa­thers to re­al­ize they made a mis­take by dis­miss­ing the idea of a new dam.

We were proud of the beau­ti­ful lake that wel­comed vis­i­tors into Bella Vista; now that wa­ter source is just an eye sore.

DONNA HUTCHIN­SON Bella Vista

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