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Bentonville library expansion, police training facility projects move forward

by Mike Jones | September 15, 2021 at 7:19 a.m.
A new sign is seen on Tuesday Dec. 29 2020 at the new Bentonville City Hall building at 305 S.W A St. .(NWA Democrat Gazette/Flip Putthoff)

BENTONVILLE -- The City Council on Tuesday night approved two agreements for the public library expansion project.

MSR Design was hired for the renovation and expansion of the library with site development. The fee for phase one is $874,965 with a maximum allowance of $18,000 for reimbursable expenses, according to council documents.

A $36,100 agreement with Flintco, LLC for preconstruction services for the expansion also was given the OK by the council.

"As Bentonville Public Library celebrates 15 years on Main Street next month, this is an exciting step forward," Director Hadi Dudley said. "The expansion project will enable our library's offerings to grow with our community. By contracting with MSR Design and Flintco, the city has assembled a solid team. I look forward to working with both firms to advance a quality project that is uniquely Bentonville."

A needs assessment from Minneapolis-based MSR Design shows a proposed 65,055 square feet of new and renovated space, which includes the current 38,500 square feet, at a cost a shade under $15 million.

The Library Foundation in May voted to raise $10.5 million for the concept called for in the full needs assessment report.

The library also will receive $4.97 million from a $266 million bond issue for capital projects and bond refinancing that voters approved earlier this year.

The council also approved an agreement with Crafton Tull & Associates for the master plan and engineering of the new law enforcement training facility. The cost, including all reimbursable expenses, is not to exceed $71,000, according to council documents.

The police training facility also was approved in the bond voting. The bond issue also will pay for a new radio system, a training facility for the Fire Department, design of the downtown Quilt of Parks and Phillips Park and all 25 drainage projects, said Debbie Griffin, city community relations and economic development director.

The $1.65 million police training facility will be constructed on 20 acres of city-owned land near the Bentonville Armory just off Regional Airport Road.

The council also heard an update on the electric cost of service study done by Utility Financial Solutions LLC. Mark Beauchamp, the company president, said no rate increases were planned, but rate restructuring will be looked at over a three-year span. The study looks at 2021 to 2025, but did not include electricity loads for the new Walmart Home Office that is under construction.

The rate study process includes financial projection, cost of service and rate design.

"The rates are in pretty good shape, but some tweaking needs to be done," Beauchamp said.

City Council members will be given a copy of the study to look over before it is presented at the Oct. 12 meeting.

In the planning part of the meeting, Mayor Stephanie Orman broke a 4-4 tie to revise the future land use map from residential estate to medium density two family and townhome residential for property at West Highway 72 and Southwest Tater Black Road.

The council then voted 6-2 to rezone the property from agricultural to medium density two family and townhome residential. Deer Creek LLC plans to build 35 townhomes on the site.

Several residents who live in the area spoke against amending the future land use plan map and the rezoning rquest from Planning Commission through council approval.

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Other action

The Bentonville City Council on Tuesday night also approved:

• An amendment to an existing Ampirical agreement for Substation I engineering to include bidding services and construction observation/oversight for $322,209.

• A professional services agreement with Raftelis Financial Consultants Inc. in an amount not to exceed $59,120 to perform a wastewater rate analysis and financial plan for the Water Utility. The city’s 2021 budget includes $60,000 for the analysis.

• Change order No. 1 and final reconciliation with C.R. Crawford Construction LLC for construction services associated with the new Public Works maintenance facility to recognize a decrease of $10,374, reducing the contract total from $2,797,473 to $2,787,099.

• A budget adjustment for the 2021 property tax for the Administrative Services Building. Future years will be tax exempt, but the first year of occupancy is taxable.

• An agreement with the Bentonville Library Foundation to purchase the historic Train Depot and associated structures and properties in an amount not to exceed $10. The depot is at at 416 S. Main St. A memorandum of understanding with the foundation and the Bentonville History Museum to work together to promote and sustain the well-being and preservation of the depot also was approved.

• A budget adjustment of $6,000 to reallocate funds in the Public Library’s part-time salaries to full-time salaries.

• A real-estate transaction with Coughlin Nonexempt Marital Trust and Coughlin Generational Trust for $200,000 for the purchase of 1.31 acres at the future intersection of Southwest 28th Street and Southwest Bright Road, as well as a 9,300-square-foot trail easement along Southwest Featherston Road.

Source: Bentonville

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