Mar 1, 2024 - News

Centerton to vote on community center

Illustration of a dollar sign made out of girders.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Centerton voters have until Tuesday to decide whether to clear the way for work to begin on a community center by issuing a $26 million bond funded by a 1% sales tax.

Why it matters: "Our community wants more amenities," Mayor Bill Edwards told Axios. Edwards added that the city is growing swiftly, yet it has no existing community center or public pools.

Residents often use Bentonville's community center, which charges nonresidents more than users who live in Bentonville.

Context: Centerton's population nearly doubled — from 10,370 people in 2012 to 21,525 in 2022 — according to census estimates. Bentonville West High School was built there in 2016 and has since expanded.

What they're saying: Early concepts of the community center include an Olympic-size indoor pool, an outdoor pool for kids, a fitness center, at least one basketball court, pickleball courts, a small library and sitting area, and meeting rooms for rent. City Hall has one meeting room that's in constant use, Edwards said.

  • The city already owns 20 acres off Keller Road on the west side of town, where it wants to build the center. It would likely be about 50,000 square feet, with room to expand.

Zoom out: Centerton also has ballot issues to refinance $3.5 million in debt from 2017 bonds and to refinance bond issues for about $13.17 million for street improvements, $2.62 million for parks and $1.56 million for police.

  • About $500,000 of the police bond money is for expanding the police building.
  • The city already has a 1% sales tax that will continue for about 10-12 years, even if all ballot issues fail. If the issues pass, the sales tax will continue for about 30 years, Edwards said.

What's next: If voters approve the bond issue, the city will begin looking for an architect to design and build the community center, along with hosting community input meetings to learn what features residents would like the center to include. The tentative plan is to start construction early next year and open in 2026.

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