City Coun­cil talks about trails, roads

The Weekly Vista - - Front Page - KEITH BRYANT kbryant@nwadg.com

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.

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