Ben­ton al­der­men plan to dis­cuss spe­cial elec­tion dur­ing meet­ing

The Saline Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By Dana Guthrie [email protected]­ton­courier.com

The Ben­ton City Coun­cil Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Com­mit­tee is set to dis­cuss a num­ber of items Tues­day night re­gard­ing Ben­ton Util­i­ties in­clud­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of call­ing a spe­cial elec­tion in March.

Ben­ton Util­i­ties is in­ter­ested in ser­vic­ing an area lo­cated north of In­ter­state 30 (near Exit 114,) but the area is cur­rently be­ing ser­viced by En­tergy Arkansas. The al­der­men will dis­cuss the pos­si­bil­ity of hold­ing a spe­cial elec­tion in March 2020 ask­ing vot­ers if they are for or against ac­quir­ing En­tergy’s prop­erty.

The com­mit­tee will also dis­cuss an or­di­nance and res­o­lu­tion re­lated to ac­quir­ing the prop­erty. The or­di­nance, which would only go into af­fect if the re­sults of the pro­posed spe­cial elec­tion show a ma­jor­ity of vot­ers ap­prove the ac­qui­si­tion, states that Ben­ton Util­i­ties has “at­tempted in good faith to ne­go­ti­ate for the ac­qui­si­tion of cus­tomers and prop­erty that would be bet­ter served by BPUC than En­tergy, Arkansas, LLC, but have been un­able to reach agree­ment”.

The res­o­lu­tion, if passed by the al­der­men, would re­quire En­tergy to fur­nish the city with in­for­ma­tion re­lated to a num­ber of items in­clud­ing re­ports, rates, clas­si­fi­ca­tions, rules ap­pli­ca­ble to elec­tric util­ity ser­vices to the area in question. It would also di­rect En­tergy to sup­ply the city with all books, records and other in­for­ma­tion per­tain­ing to the busi­ness of En­tergy in the area in question, along with a ver­i­fied, item­ized and de­tailed in­ven­tory and val­u­a­tion of all the prop­erty.

Ac­cord­ing to the res­o­lu­tion, if En­tergy does not com­ply, the city at­tor­ney will be autho­rized to in­state le­gal pro­ceed­ings.

Other items on the agenda in­clude:

• Code en­force­ment con­dem­na­tions.

• A new right of way per­mit.

• The amend­ment of Or­di­nance 66 of 2013 re­gard­ing sub­di­vi­sion rules and reg­u­la­tions.

The Ben­ton An­i­mal Con­trol Com­mit­tee will also meet di­rectly af­ter the con­clu­sion of the Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Com­mit­tee. Al­der­man Frank Bap­tist is sched­uled to dis­cuss chicken coop reg­u­la­tions within the

Ben­ton city lim­its.

All items ap­proved dur­ing com­mit­tee meet­ings will still be re­quired to ob­tain ap­proval from the full city coun­cil dur­ing their reg­u­larly sched­uled monthly meet­ing.

The meet­ing will be­gin at 6 p.m. Tues­day in the Mayor’s con­fer­ence room at the Ben­ton Mu­nic­i­pal Com­plex, lo­cated at 114 S. East St.

Meet­ings are open to the pub­lic and at­ten­dance is en­cour­aged.

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