City Council talks about trails, roads
The Bella Vista City Council discussed an extension of the Razorback Greenway and the paving of Suits Us Drive during its work session Monday night.
The council looked at easements that need to be granted so the paving project can progress on Suits Us Drive.
“This is getting us ready for the paving of and widening of lower Suits Us,” Mayor Peter Christie said. “It’s been a long, hard road for some of us.”
There are 28 lots touching the road, he said, and because the revised road will be wider and feature more drainage, easements need to be granted so the city is not building on people’s property.
Community Development Services director Chris Suneson said that there are currently six property owners that city staff has been
unable to contact and one who is not interested in working with the city.
In addition to accepting easements, the council discussed acquiring easements on properties for which it could not otherwise gain them.
Staff attorney Jason Kelley said that while reducing the size of a property may reduce its value, the infrastructure improvements in this case — which should reduce dust and improve drainage — will more than make up for it. If they do not, he said, the city has an obligation to pay just compensation.
The resolution the council was looking at, he said, would authorize him to sue to acquire the necessary easements for this project.
“This is the first time, to my knowledge, that Bella Vista has exercised eminent domain, but we’ve got to,” he said.
The council also considered a resolution to accept easements alongside Dartmoor Road and Blowing Springs Road.
Christie said this was related to an extension of the Razorback Greenway. The plan, he said, was for the trail to go past the north tip of Lake Bella Vista, past the Veterans Wall of Honor and follow alongside Little Sugar Creek to Mercy Clinic. From there, he said, the proposed trail crosses Dartmoor Road and follows it to the intersection of Dartmoor Road, Lambeth Road and Blowing Springs Road, then rolls alongside Blowing Springs Road and ends at the first Blowing Springs parking lot.
The city would take on maintenance costs for the portions near the wall and from Dartmoor onward, he said, estimated at $1,000 per year, though the trail is warrantied for its first year.
A separate resolution was on the agenda to approve a $115,000 contract to build a crosswalk for this greenway extension.
The crossing at Dartmoor Road, he said, would be handled by a high-intensity activated crosswalk beacon, or HAWK he said. The acronym, he said, is made with the H in “high,” the A in “activated” and the A and K in “crosswalk.”
“Somebody must have sat there a long time doing this,” Christie said.
The council also discussed appointing someone to the library board, hiring legal counsel for the city’s proposed acquisition of a portion of Centerton’s water system, renaming two streets, appointments to the Bella Vista Arts Council, court facility progress, remodels at Fire Station 1, and the nearly-finished northbound left-turn lane project at the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Mercy Way.