CENTERTON WATER ANNOUNCEMENT
On Tuesday evening, March 21, the City of Gravette officially approached Centerton Utilities and expressed our intention to pursue the separation and purchase of the portion of the water supply system which services the area that lies within Gravette's corporate limits and the surrounding planning jurisdiction. It is the administration's belief that the planning process for citizens and developers in the eastern part of Gravette will best be served when water and wastewater management is organized in conjunction with land use planning under the supervision of a single governing body.
Such instances of one municipality operating a water system within the boundaries of another municipality have been addressed by the Arkansas Legislature and the law provides guidance allowing any city that already operates its own system to purchase the facilities and customers that lie within its corporate boundary. The two parties are statutorily obligated to negotiate in good faith.
Also, we recently learned the City of Bella Vista (not POA) has been in negotiations with Centerton Utilities to purchase a portion of this district. The section which they have identified similarly includes land within Bella Vista's corporate city limits, but also includes several hundred acres of land that lie within the corporate city limits of Gravette. Considering we have made known our intentions to explore the purchase of all areas within our corporate boundaries, we expect these negotiations to be tabled until further study can be done.
Below are some images that identify the general areas discussed: Centerton Water District Gravette City Limits Gravette Water District
A.C.A. § 14-208-102 Current through the 2016 Second Extraordinary Session of the 90th General Assembly; and including Unofficial Updates (that do not include corrections and changes by the Arkansas Code Revision Commission) through laws effective May 23, 2016 of the 2016 Third Extraordinary Session. The final official version of statutes affected by the 2016 Fiscal Session and 2016 Third Extraordinary Session will appear on lexis.com and Lexis Advance in July 2016 Arkansas Code Annotated > Title 14 Local Government > Subtitle 12. Public Utilities Generally > Chapter 208 Valuation of Rural Water Service Properties and Facilities Upon Annexation 14-208-102. Right to acquire rural water service properties, facilities, and customers. (a) (1) Unless otherwise agreed between a municipality that owns or operates a water service and a rural water service, the inclusion by annexation of any part of the assigned service area of a rural water service within the boundaries of any Arkansas municipality shall not in any respect impair or affect the rights of the rural water service to continue operations and extend water service throughout any part of its assigned service area unless a municipality that owns or operates a water service elects to purchase from the rural water service all customers, distribution properties, and facilities located within the municipality reasonably utilized or reasonably necessary to serve customers of the rural water service within the annexed areas under this chapter, excluding water sources, treatment plants, and storage serving customers outside the annexed areas. (2) (A) Unless otherwise agreed between a municipality that owns or operates a water service and a rural water service, a municipality may not undertake or begin construction, operation, or extension of any equipment or facilities for the supplying of water service to the annexed areas without complying with this chapter. (B) The affected rural water service is entitled to injunctive relief for any violation of this chapter. (b) (1) The municipality shall give written notice to the rural water service prior to the municipality's acquiring from the rural water service all customers, distribution properties, and facilities reasonably utilized or reasonably necessary to serve customers of the rural water service within the annexed areas. (2) The municipality and the rural water service shall meet and negotiate in good faith the terms of the acquisition, including, as an alternative, granting the rural water service an agreement to serve the annexed area or portions of the annexed area. (3) (A) Before an acquisition under this chapter by the municipality occurs, the municipality shall receive approval from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission that the action complies with the Arkansas Water Plan under § 15-22-503. (B) The commission shall: A.C.A. § 14-208-102 Page 2 of 2 (i) Approve the application under the Arkansas Water Plan if it determines the requirements of § 15-22-223(b)(2)(B) are satisfied, including costs derived from negotiation or appraisal; (ii) Issue a letter to the municipality that the proposed action is exempt from review under the Arkansas Water Plan; or (iii) Deny the application under the Arkansas Water Plan if it determines the requirements of § 15-22-223(b)(2)(B) are not satisfied. (c) An agreement reached under this chapter shall comply with § 15-22-223. (d) This chapter shall not limit applicable federal law, including without limitation 7 U.S.C. § 1926(b) [repealed]. (e) If a municipality that owns or operates a water service has an area within its corporate limits that is served by another municipality's water service, the municipality may elect to purchase from the other municipality's water service all customers, distribution properties, and facilities located within the municipality using the procedures under this subchapter. History Acts 2009, No. 779, § 1; 2011, No. 778, § 3; 2011, No. 1053, § 1. Annotations Notes Amendments. The 2011 amendment by No. 778 inserted "occurs" in (b)(3)(A). The 2011 amendment by No. 1053 added (e). Arkansas Code of 1987 Annotated Official Edition © 2016 by the State of Arkansas All rights reserved.