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story.lead_photo.caption Bryan Beeson, Benton County facilities administrator

BENTONVILLE -- Benton County has hired a new facilities administrator whose duties will include overseeing construction of a $30 million courts building.

County Judge Barry Moehring hired Bryan Beeson, who has more than 30 years in construction management experience with Walmart. Beeson will start work with the county April 30.

John Sudduth resigned his job with the county on Feb. 28. Sudduth was hired in 2011.

Moehring said Beeson will fill the facilities construction and maintenance role immediately, with the other three divisions operating for now under their individual managers. Beeson will be paid about $68,000 as the county's facilities administrator. The Quorum Court approved a waiver from the county's salary policy allowing Moehring to offer a higher starting salary. The normal starting salary for the job would be about $60,000.

"To be competitive in this market, we needed to be in that $65,000 to $70,000 range," Moehring said.

The county needs to have someone to oversee the courts building project, Moehring said, along with the planned renovation of the historic courthouse and ongoing maintenance of other county buildings. The county plans to break ground on the courts building in January.

Beeson is an Arkansas native who began working for Walmart in 1984, two years after graduating from Harding University with a degree in public administration. He started at the store level, holding jobs as assistant manager, co-manager and store manager before moving into property management and then into construction management. After being laid off by Walmart in January 2017, he took a job with the city of Bentonville overseeing parks operations and facilities. Beeson lives in rural Benton County, near Centerton.

Beeson said much of what he did with Walmart -- managing facilities, overseeing maintenance and new construction including supercenters, distribution centers and other projects -- will transfer to the county. He also worked on the Walmart Museum remodeling in downtown Bentonville.

He said working on a courts building will be different, but he did some work with IT facilities, including the company's underground facility in Jane, Mo., giving him some experience with security needs.

"Obviously a courts building isn't like anything else," he said. "That being said, I did work at some projects for Walmart that were unique. Every jurisdiction is different, every city wants different things, every manager wants things done a certain way. You always want to make sure you have a good one-on-one relationship with the architects, engineers and construction firms."

Moehring said the planning, building and environmental divisions will be reviewed and he will consider how other counties and cities handle those functions. Benton County has had a single supervisor over all three divisions for the past several years.

"In those other departments we have our experts in place. Those are self-sustaining organizations and I'm still considering what I want to do with them," he said.

Metro on 04/23/2018

Print Headline: Benton County hires supervisor for construction

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