Breaking Down How Asa Hutchinson’s Bill Will Fund “Stump Dump” Clean Up

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BELLA VISTA, Ark. (KNWA)– Governor Asa Hutchinson approved allocating $20 million to extinguish the Trafalgar Road fire in Bella Vista.

But could that money be coming out of your pocket?

The “stump dump” has not only upset neighbors, but now lawmakers are taking action against it.

One state representative is wanting those affected to get compensated for the cleanup.

According to J.R. Davis, the communications director for Governor Asa Hutchinson, in order to use the $20 million the governor approved to extinguish the Trafalgar road fire, there has to be an appropriation.

Meaning–the money will only be given as the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality requests it.

“It was written in a way that if we do get some federal funding from the EPA, they would be able to spend that money. If it’s state funding, they’ll be able to spend that money. So, it was written in a way that is flexible for the ADEQ so they can get this cleaned up as quickly and as effectively as possible,” said Davis.

Davis said the money to clean up the fire will either be from federal funding, state funding or a hybrid of both.
 
Either way, the money will be coming out of tax payers pockets, but, Davis clarifies there will be no additional tax to pay for it.
 
He said, “From the governor’s perspective, this is something that’s a priority for him. We understand that it’s complicated and it’s complex. It’s just the nature of the whole Trafalgar fire site.”
 
To State Representative Gayla Mckenzie, it’s important to recognize who’s paying for the cleanup.
 
She said, “We need to be mindful of the tax payers who are helping out who are stepping up here and helping out these folks in this situation. It’s an emergency. It’s a hazard.”
 
She’s calling for the person responsible for the flames to foot the bill.
 
“In this situation, it looks like there’s a potential of private parties here that we need to recoup that cost from,” said Mckenzie.
 
To achieve this, Mckenzie says she’s going to take it through the court system.
 
In Bella Vista, the ADEQ will work with necessary agencies to create a clean up plan.
 
Once a contract is created between the ADEQ and a company or companies, it will go to the governor’s office to be approved.
 
Davis says because the governor’s office doesn’t know the amount the ADEQ will ask for, it not certain whether the money will come from state or federal funds.
 
 
 

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