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Posted on: July 31, 2020

Special Election 2020

Consolidation

Many of you have asked great questions about what a consolidation would look like. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions. You will also find information on voting times and locations.

Q: Will Bethel Heights’ residents have the same water and sewer rates as Springdale residents or will they pay a higher rate to offset the investment required to fix the sewer problems?

 A: If Bethel Heights becomes part of Springdale they will begin paying the same rates as Springdale residents, which are typically the lowest in the state.

 Q: Will the City of Springdale be paying to fix the sewer problems in Bethel Heights?

 A:  No.  Springdale Water Utilities and the City of Springdale are separate entities although they work closely together.  The City of Springdale will not be paying for any of the upgrades. Corrections to the Bethel Heights’ sewer problems will be paid out of the Springdale Water Utilities budgeted emergency reserve funds.  However, the Springdale Water Utilities has other ample resources to offset costs. These resources include, but are not limited to:
 • Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
 • Arkansas Natural Resources Commission (ANRC)
 • Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office.

 Q: What will the investment be to connect Bethel Heights onto our sewer system?

 A: The objective is to create a long term plan in conjunction with our Master Plan. The short-term plan, which will bring immediate relief to the Bethel Heights’ residents, will likely be less than $200,000. Our main goal is to bring the area into compliance with the ADEQ.

 Q: What can Bethel Heights’ residents expect a typical water and sewer bill to look like?

 A: Example of Springdale Water Utility bill:
 A conservative estimate from ANRC based on 4,000 gallons (before taxes and fees):
 • Water: $18.80
 • Sewer: $18.43
 • Total monthly expense: $36.61
 • Total annual expense: $439.32

 Example of Bethel Heights Utility bill:
 • Water: $20.80
 • Sewer: $97.36
 • Total monthly expense: $118.16
 • Total annual expense: $1,417.92

 The annual difference would be $978.60. These are conservative numbers that can be accessed at the Chamber of Commerce as well as ANRC documents and other public sources.

 Q: Will homeowners insurance go down in Bethel Heights because of the class one rated Springdale Fire Department?

 A: Possibly. It will all depend on the type of home insurance Bethel Heights’ residents have currently and what its fire rating is. Insurance rates may go down; others may be unchanged.

 Q: What are the benefits to Bethel Heights and Springdale if this passes?

 A: Benefits to Bethel Heights:
 •The Springdale Water Utility sewer system will eliminate the potential disposal of sewage on private property.
 •The sanitary conditions of the area will greatly increase.
 •ISO 1 rated fire department which can help some homeowners reduce their insurance.
 •Greater resources, including law enforcement and fire department.
 •Springdale Water Utilities was awarded the Governor’s Quality Award for Excellence in Business Practices.
 •Transparency in local government.
 •Lower sales tax.

 Benefits to Springdale:
 •The combination of water and sewer upgrades and potential growth of Bethel Heights along the future 612 Bypass will lead to great opportunities for growth and redefine the entrance into our city.  
 •The state and federal government send funds to municipalities for each resident in the form of "turn back funds".  Bringing these funds together will increase Springdale’s ability to raise the quality of life in our city.  
 •The wonderful residents of Bethel Heights will be welcomed and will be a great addition to our community.

 Some additional helpful information from Heath Ward, Executive Director of Springdale Water Utilities:


 •We do not charge residents’ extra fees to review problems or give advice to homeowners.
 •Springdale Water Utility is the winner of the Governor’s Quality Award for Excellence in our business practices. It is the first utility in Arkansas and the second government related entity in the 24 year history of the award to win the highest recognition. Our team is committed to providing Springdale with the best water and sewer quality—Springdale Water Utilities is proud to have an Executive Director, a Director of Engineering, a Distribution Director, and a Wastewater Facility Director who are dedicated to our mission of providing safe, high-quality drinking water to our patrons and to responsibly treat and dispose of wastewater generated by those patrons and to protect the public health.
 •We will have public meetings weekly that everyone is welcome to attend. This is to ensure residents are well informed on what we are doing and what is going on in their community.
 •We have 24/7 service available to residents after hours for any emergency that may occur.

 If anyone has questions or concerns, they can call our office at 479-751-5751.

 VOTING INFORMATION

**Important information regarding absentee voting-- The DEADLINE to receive an absentee ballot for both Washington and Benton County is Tuesday, Aug. 4. Residents can request one to be mailed or ballot applications can be printed out through the local county clerk’s office website. 

 BENTON COUNTY
 •Early voting begins Aug. 4-Aug. 7 from 8:00am-4:30pm/Aug. 10 from 8:00am-4:30pm.

 •Voting sites:
 -Benton County Clerk’s Office in Bentonville, Arkansas.
 -Benton County Clerk’s Office in Rogers, Arkansas.
 -Benton County Clerk’s Office in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
 Voting is NOT available at these locations on Election Day.

 •ELECTION DAY voting begins at 7:30am-7:30pm.
 •ELECTION DAY voting sites:
 -Moose Lodge #877 in Bethel Heights, AR.
 -Siloam Springs Community Building in Siloam Springs, AR.

 Washington County:
 •Early voting begins Aug. 4-Aug. 10 from 8:00am-4:30pm.
 •Voting site:
 -Washington County Clerk’s Office in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

 •ELECTION DAY voting begins at 7:30am-7:30pm.
 •ELECTION DAY voting sites:
 -Elmdale Baptist Church in Springdale, AR.
 -First Church of the Nazarene in Springdale, AR
 -Oak Grove Baptist Church in Springdale, AR.
 -Springdale Rodeo Community Center in Springdale, AR.

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