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Benton County Budget Committee talks capital requests

by Mike Jones | October 19, 2021 at 7:18 a.m.
The Benton County Courthouse is shown, Thursday, February 28, 2019 in downtown Bentonville.

BENTONVILLE -- The Benton County Budget Committee on Monday reviewed more capital requests and heard outside presentations for funding in 2022.

Capital requests for next year total $5.9 million. The 2022 general fund budget is projected at $52.4 million, a 14% increase over this year's $46 million budget.

County presentations Monday came from the coroner, information technology, juvenile detention, environmental services, emergency management, fire services and building projects.

Bryan Beeson, county facilities administrator, has a list of projects that includes a new 30-foot by 50-foot building in Garfield that will hold salt and sand for $58,000, adding two automatic gates at the Road Department in Bentonville for $20,000, heating and air conditioning upgrades to various county buildings for $120,000, replacing the back parking lot of Division II courts for $48,000, replacing 50-year-old windows in the Bogle Building for $33,500 and various upgrades at the Juvenile Detention Center for $64,000.

Outside presentations for county funding included the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, the Humane Society, the Illinois River Watershed Partnership and Ozark Transit. The Washington County HIV Clinic also sent an update to the county.

Outside requests came to a combined $289,000, county Comptroller Brenda Peacock said.

Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Meyer Gilbert previously said the office wants to acquire 15 Chevrolet Tahoes in the 2022 budget. The vehicles cost $50,000 each. Last year's budget had the office getting 13 new Tahoes, but officials are still waiting to receive 12 of them, he said.

The Sheriff's Office budget projected at $13.2 million, compared to $11.6 million this year. The county jail budget for next year is $11.64 million, up slightly from this year's $11.56 million total.

The Road Department has $2.88 million in capital requests to purchase four graders, four dump trucks, a single axle dump, a bush hog unit, a bulldozer, a compacter and six trucks. That cost will be offset by a little over $1 million in used equipment sales.

The Road Department's budget is projected at $14.1 million; this year's budget is $13.5 million.

The Sheriff's Office and Road Department capital requests were made last week as part of their budget presentations.

Most of the capital requests are for vehicles and machinery and equipment. County fire services requested two new fire trucks at a cost of $540,000. Emergency Management asked for a drone at a cost of $7,000.

Budget discussions will continue at 6 p.m. Monday in the Quorum Courtroom on the third floor of the County Administration Building downtown.

More News

Special Quorum Court meeting tonight

The Benton County Quorum Court will have a special meeting tonight for a second reading of a $113,000 appropriation ordinance for the Northwest Arkansas Council’s covid-19 vaccination and public information campaign. A second reading is needed after the item failed to get the necessary 10 votes last month. The vote was 9-4 in favor of the appropriation. The special meeting will follow the Committee of the Whole meeting that starts at 6 p.m.

Source: Benton County

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