New Ben­ton County Quo­rum Court mem­bers eye pro­posed courts build­ing

Westside Eagle-Observer - - SPORTS/NEWS - MIKE JONES [email protected]

BEN­TONVILLE — Newly elected mem­bers of the Ben­ton County Quo­rum Court al­ready are fo­cused on one loom­ing ques­tion: Will vot­ers ap­prove the money for a new courts fa­cil­ity?

De­bra Hobbs, Car­rie Per­rien Smith and Dustin Todd, all Repub­li­cans, won spots on the 15-mem­ber court in Tues­day’s elec­tion. They will be sworn in Jan. 1.

The Quo­rum Court last month ap­proved the sec­ond read­ing to set an elec­tion for a tem­po­rary oneeighth-cent sales tax. The tax would pay for a pro­posed $30 mil­lion courts fa­cil­ity. The county has adopted a build­ing de­sign and a lo­ca­tion on Sec­ond Street in down­town Ben­tonville. The fund­ing plan is set for a spe­cial elec­tion in March. The third and fi­nal read­ing will be held in De­cem­ber.

Safety is his main con­cern when it comes to a courts build­ing, Todd said. Todd, a for­mer law en­force­ment of­fi­cer with Ben­tonville and the Ben­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, will rep­re­sent Dis­trict 11. The dis­trict cov­ers most of the north­west­ern corner of Ben­ton County, in­clud­ing Gravette and De­catur. Bob Bland, the in­cum­bent, didn’t seek re-elec­tion.

“There are high-pro­file cases with lots of peo­ple com­ing in and out of build­ings that aren’t se­cure,” he said.

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