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Construction Beginning On New Bella Vista Court

BELLA VISTA (KFSM) -- Construction has started on the new Bella Vista District Court. The city is renting a space in a complex off Lancashire Boulevard for more than half the price being paid to use Bentonville's District Court.

Right now people have to drive to Bentonville District Court for misdemeanor crimes, traffic and code violations.

Bella Vista has a cost sharing system with Bentonville but the expenses are expected to more than double, and because of that high price, Bella Vista staff attorney Jason Kelley said they can operate their own court.

Bella Vista has around 125 cases that go to court every month. So that means both the officer and the offender have to drive to Bentonville for court. Bella Vista Police Chief Ken Farmer said when trials are happening for these cases it almost empties the city of uniformed police officers.

“It's not a good thing because number one the people don't get the service that they deserve. It also leaves the remaining officers without adequate backup if we have a serious incident while they are gone,” he said.

Farmer said right now if you get a minor fine or citation that you want to pay, those fines can only be accepted in the city where the court is located.

In November, people can start paying fines at the new court and it should be fully operational by January 2018.