BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- A group filed a motion in federal court this week hoping to block the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA from building a new dam at Lake Bella Vista.
The Bentonville city council voted to move forward with replacing the dam after receiving a $3.7 million grant from FEMA.
The Lake Bella Vista Dam was constructed in 1915 and wasn’t properly reinforced. Because of this a group called friends of little sugar creek wants the dam taken out and not replaced, so the water can be free flowing.
“There is no reason for FEMA to be involved in funding construction of dams that don’t provide drinking water or create electricity. This is just a nonessential dam,” Greg Van Horn said.
Friends of little sugar creek is a citizens group working for the restoration of little sugar creek and the removal of the Lake Bella Vista dam.
Co-founder Greg Van Horn said part of the reason the dam has failed is because it was poorly designed and built in the main stem of little sugar creek.
“There is a 50,000 acre watershed above it and so that causes a lot of problems with flooding and siltation and the lake hasn’t really been able to achieve it’s intended purpose of recreation,” he said.
Van Horn said by removing the dam we can recreate a living, moving Ozark waterway for people to swim and fish in.
Amanda Bosley comes to little sugar creek quite often and said it’s a nice path to walk.
“I just appreciate having somewhere like this getting to come to and enjoy being outside in a really nice place in a really nice community,” Bosley said.