Debris Cleanup To Begin At Lake Bella Vista

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BENTONVILLE (KFSM) - Cleanup was been approved for Lake Bella Vista during Tuesday night's (March 8) city council meeting.

The area hasn't looked quite the same after floods in December 2015 left behind a trail of debris. However, cleanup is expected to start in 30 days.

Councilors approved the hire of Pick-It Construction for $72,000, according to Bentonville Mayor, Bob McCaslin. He said 75 percent of the cost is expected to be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and 12.5 percent by the Arkansas Department of Emergency Management, leaving the city on the hook for about $9,000.

"[They'll be] clearing debris and taking us back to the park-like setting before," said McCaslin. "So it will be removal and some cases maybe burning of debris."

A mess of uprooted trees, branches and debris that was washed into the lake during the flooding was more than what the city could take on, said David Wright, director of Bentonville Parks and Recreation.

"This time, quite frankly, it was just more than we're equipped to handle," said Wright. "We don't have the manpower or the equipment to do what needs to be done to bring that park back to its natural state."

The area has been in disarray for some time, according to local residents, who said they're ready to see the entire area get back to what it used to look like.

"A lot of people walk this area, old folks -- we like to walk and get that exercise," said Dennis Dean, of Bella Vista. "It's nice that they're cleaning it up."

Workers are expected to pile the debris and set a controlled burn. What cannot be burned will be hauled off, according to Wright, who said the job is supposed to last up to a month and a half.