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Council recognizes youth, employee of the month

Two Benton residents were recognized by the City Council for service to the community. Cason Maertens, senior quarterback for the Benton High School Panthers, was awarded the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council’s Youth of the Month for November in recognition of exemplary character, service and citizenship.

Cason shakes Mayor David Mattingly's hand while recieivng a plaque.

County Judge swears-in commissioners

Shelly Reed became the newest member of the Benton Historic District Commission after Saline County Judge Jeff Arey conducted a swear-in ceremony Wednesday. Kevin Malone was also reappointed as a commissioner during the swear-in ceremony. Malone, former commission chairman, was elected as the commission’s co-chairman. Brett Chumley is the chairman of the commission.

Parks Committee recommends land purchase, equipment purchases

Members of the Parks and Recreation Committee is recommending City Council members to allocate $300,000 plus closing costs to purchase 10.3 acres of property adjacent to Bernard Holland Park.  The property would allow a connection with Bernard Holland and Sunset Lake Park and the city’s Dog Park.

In other business, committee members are recommending council members consider:

Committee gives support for traffic light study

Streets and Drainage Committee members are supporting a request to have the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department conduct a traffic light study on Arkansas Highway 5 at the Hurricane Creek Village shopping center. Committee members said though they are supplying support, they are not committing to any funding of the study.

Commissioners send recommendations to council members

The Benton Public Utilities Commission is requesting City Council members approve the appointment of Phil Miller to serve another five year term on the PUC. Miller’s term is set to expire on Dec. 31.

The PUC is also requesting the council to approve up to $45,000 for the purchase and installation of a generator at the Willow Street pump station. Wastewater Department Assistant Manager Randy Hawkins told commissioners that the current 30-year-old generator is only producing at a 50 percent rate and needs to be replaced.

Commissioners recommend rezones, plats to City Council

Members of the Planning and Zoning Commission are making recommendations to the Benton City Council to approve several rezone and plat requests.

There are three recommendations concerning the future 160,000-square-foot Shoppes of Benton: 1. Approval of rezoning the property to highway commercial property; 2. Approval of a conditional use permit; and 3. Approval of a preliminary plat. Annexation process is underway.

In other business, commissioners are recommending to the council for approval:

City recognizes employee at council meeting

Benton Utilities Department General Manager Terry McKinney was presented a Service Award by Mayor David Mattingly in the opening of a city council meeting. McKinney was recognized for giving 10 years of service to the city.

Benton Utilities to add circuits due to city growth

Members of the Benton Public Utilities Commission approved the purchase of two reclosures for the North Benton Substation to accommodate the double circuit being built to serve the growth in the north end of the city. A Benton Utilities employee told commissioners that the $29,448 cost will build and protect the circuits necessary to provide adequate power for future growth, including the GBT construction of the Shoppes of Benton and large apartment complex at Longhills.

City of Benton named Volunteer Community of the Year for sixth time

Mayor David Mattingly is proud to announce the selection of Benton as a Volunteer Community of the Year in Arkansas for 2015. The honor marks the sixth time since 2009 that the city has won the award and four times since Mayor Mattingly took office in 2011.

Benton is one of twelve honorees that includes the cities of Fairfield Bay, Clark Ridge, Vilonia, Greenbrier, Clarksville, Arkadelphia, Maumelle, Van Buren, Bentonville, Fayetteville and Fort Smith

Commission approves assistant chief position

The Civil Service Commission approved changing Benton Police Department policy and procedure rules to add an assistant chief position. Chief Kirk Lane said interviews for the position will begin at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16. Interviewers include Mayor David Mattingly, Lane and Civil Service commissioners.