In this week’s ‘You Ask, We Investigate’ report, KNWA’s Katelynn Zoellner looked into the long term traffic plan for when the new courts facility is completed in Bentonville.
People in Benton County will vote on the 1/8 cent sales tax for 4 1/2 years in a special election on March 12. The tax would pay for the proposed $30 million building.
Benton County Judge Barry Moehring said the building will consolidate the courts, increase safety and bring convenience to those who have to come to court.
“This will greatly ease the security issues we have, ease the public inconvenience issues we have and make for a much better experience and a more safe experience for the public and for our judiciary,” he said.
Judge Moehring said having one place for people to go will help ease traffic in Downtown Bentonville.
“We are bringing people down to our courthouse and we are trying to direct them to three different places in Downtown Bentonville,” he said. “And, frankly, that’s a challenge, because people don’t come to courthouses very often. We will have a new facility where all court operations will take place. We will be able to put all of our judges, our circuit court clerk and probate under one roof.”
While the building is being built, a new parking garage will be constructed across B Street in Bentonville. The parking garage is not part of the 1/8 cent sales tax that people will vote on in March.
“It will be up towards 400 spaces, right close to that number, which will greatly alleviate the parking problems that are in the rest of Downtown Bentonville,” said Moehring. “That will be built at no cost to taxpayers. And, it will be free parking for the public, so that garage will be free 24/7 for the public.”
Between a new building and more parking spaces, Moehring said you should notice a difference in traffic.
“We will be able to direct the traffic in a much better way than we are today and then we will have a place for them to go park,” he said.
Moehring is focusing on educating the public right now about the new courts building. There are a number of town hall meetings being held ahead of the special election. You can find a schedule of meetings here.
Is there something in your community that you want to know more about, we want to investigate it. You can send your questions to Katelynn at KZoellner@KNWA.com.