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Bella Vista for Sale

It appears Bella Vista is for sale to the highest bidder. Our board of directors has voted to license our common property to the city. They made this decision without the required vote of the membership. The city, in turn, has accepted nearly $4 million dollars from the Walton Family Foundation to cut 50 miles of trails throughout our common property in central Bella Vista.

The board defends its position, citing the fact several community meetings were held before the decision was made. It received little opposition during those meetings, board members say, then assumed that the membership was on board with the idea. They were sorely mistaken, just as they were when they assumed the membership was in agreement with borrowing $14 million dollars to build a new community center.

The new trail system is called "Eleven Under," a name that refers to the fact that eleven tunnels will be built beneath our roads. The deal with the Walton Family Foundation requires that the trails must be open to the public and that we are not allowed to charge a fee for their use. To add insult to injury, we, the membership, will be saddled with the cost of maintaining the trails. The POA will be required to pay $35k annually, and the city will be required to pay another $35k annually. So, the free-to-the-public trail system will cost the membership $70k per year. Bella Vista will not benefit in any way by inviting the world into our town. Once visitors are done using our free trail system, they'll go to Bentonville to spend their money.

Many of us consider our common property to be sacrosanct. In fact, this is what every member was promised when purchasing property here. It was a grave disservice to the membership to allow our common property to be used without our approval, without our vote. It seems that our board of directors and city council have become so preoccupied with wheeling and dealing that they've lost sight of the simple fact that, just because something might be legal, doesn't make it right. And it is becoming apparent that a judge will need to decide if the unauthorized use of our common property was, indeed, legal.

I'm willing to bet that the majority of the membership still knows nothing about "Eleven Under." They will only become aware when they hear chainsaws and backhoes in their backyard. They will become concerned when their quiet home becomes a major thoroughfare for mountain bikers, runners, walkers and assorted criminal types. They might get annoyed when numerous cars line their once-secluded street. They might wonder what happened to all the animals which will retreat from their invaded habitat.

I encourage every member to let his voice be heard. Contact the city council and the POA board of directors. Come to meetings and express your opinion. Let them know Bella Vista is not for sale.

Kevin Dooley

Bella Vista

Editorial on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: Bella Vista for Sale

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