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Budget discussion continues for Benton County

by Mike Jones | October 13, 2020 at 7:30 a.m.
West side of the Benton County Courthouse May 25, 2016.

BENTONVILLE — Officials with the Benton County Sheriff's Office, Circuit Clerk, County Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor gave presentations before the justices of the peace during a three-hour meeting Monday in the Quorum Courtroom on the third floor of the County Administration Building downtown.

The Sheriff's Office has a proposed budget of $12.4 million, and the jail budget is a proposed $11.4 million, according to county documents.

Sheriff's Office capital project requests include the replacement of 11 Chevrolet Tahoes at a cost of $390,500, according to county documents.

The Sheriff's Office has approximately 180 vehicles that average about eight years old, according to the Sheriff's Office presentation. Members of Sheriff Shawn Holloway's command staff gave parts of the office overview.

The Tahoes the Sheriff's Office would like to replace are mostly model years 2013 and 2014 with the majority of them having over 150,000 miles.

Capital requests for the jail include replacing two ovens used to prepare inmate food for $20,000 and the replacement of four Dodge Chargers for prisoner transport for $100,000, according to county documents.

County Clerk Betsy Harrell told justices of the peace $18,328 in covid-19-related purchases in the office could be reimbursed by the state. The County Clerk's 2021 proposed budget is $1.3 million.

The County Clerk's office has mailed out 13,771 absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 general election, Harrell said. So far, 6,302 ballots have been returned. There are 168,588 registered voters in the county as of Monday. Early voting starts Oct. 19.

Other 2021 budgets discussed included the Treasurer's Office ($423,576), County Assessor ($6.7 million) and Circuit Clerk ($2.7 million).

Assessor Roderick Grieve said his 2021 budget is an increase of 1.8% compared with 2020. This is due to increases in three line items for the countywide reappraisal that will be completed in 2021, he said.

Next July, the Assessor's Office will send out approximately 155,000 valuation notices -- an increase of 9,029 parcels or 6.2% over the 2016 reappraisal, Grieve said.

The Assessor's Office also has a capital request of $100,000 to replace four vehicles that were acquired in 2002, 2003 and 2004, Grieve said.

Budget talks for 2021 started last week with the county administration. County Judge Barry Moehring is responsible for 10 departments including the Road Department. The total proposed 2021 budget for those departments is $26.5 million, according to documents. A $13.4 million budget is proposed for the Road Department. The Collector's Office budget also was looked at last week.

Mike Jones can be reached by email at


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