There might a question on the March 3rd ballot that you can either ignore or vote on, but those votes may not be counted, and if they are, it won’t make a difference either way.
The Benton Public Utilities Commission (BPUC) and City of Benton partnered to create a question for voters in the upcoming election while in negotiations with Entergy Arkansas, LLC.
Now they are working in tandem with Entergy Arkansas, LLC to strike that question from the ballot. The election is to be held Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 in Saline County.
Currently on the ballot are:
- candidates for the Preferential Primary candidates,
- non-partisan/judicial candidates,
- school elections,
- a Special Election for Arkansas House of Representatives on District 22, and lastly,
- a Special Election concerning utilities within the City of Benton.
In this article, we’ll discuss the one for Benton’s utilities. According to David Vondran, the General Manager of Benton Utilities, The BPUC has been in negotiations to have Entergy turn over a piece of territory at the northwest corner of the intersection of Interstate 30 at Exit 114. Part of that area is where the new CTE School is being built.
If a settlement wasn’t reached in a certain amount of time, then the Special Election is another avenue to try and achieve that goal for BPUC. However, the settlement agreement has been reached.
The BPUC voted on Thursday, January 23rd to accept the agreement, and the Benton City Council voted on Monday, January 27th to accept it. The attorneys from both sides are currently filing the agreement with the Saline County Circuit Clerk.
The agreement states that all the territory that falls within the city limits of Benton, except what is required by Entergy, will be served by Benton Utilities. The ballot would have put the question to residents within the city limits. However, that is no longer necessary, since it has already been settled.
Note that this settlement doesn’t mean that the question is automatically taken off the ballot. There is still a small chance that the filing won’t take place quickly enough to make the deadline to strike the question from the ballot. If the deadline isn’t met, then voters will see the following question on the ballot:
City of Benton Special Election – 3/3/2020
Ordinance No. 83 of 2019
On the question of the City of Benton, Arkansas acquiring the property of Entergy Arkansas, LLC that is north of Interstate 30 and within the City of Benton, Arkansas, except such property that is required by Entergy Arkansas, LLC to serve customers located south of Interstate 30 or outside the City of Benton, Arkansas.
If the question does go to the ballot, then the attorneys will work to ask the Saline County Election Commission not to count the votes.