Questions linger about funds for Bono Lake project

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)- The Bono Lake Project has been a work in progress since 2007. The lake project was projected to be complete by 2009. Taxpayers are now wondering what happened to the money since the lake is still empty.  

"Well, originally theproject cost was around $4 million dollars which was back in about 2008," said Craighead County Judge Ed Hill. " And in2013, we realize that costs are a lot higher in everything.”

Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said the project got off to a rocky start.

"The biggest issue was the Geotech," he said. "Before, he had us doing somethings that now we see we shouldn’t have been doing and that delayed theproject and it costs several thousand dollars to do and several months a time.”

After having second thoughts about the Geotech engineer, the county decided to hire someone else.  

"We hired a different Geotech to take over and since thenthe project has really come along good.” But as far as the money goes, the $4 million dollars from the start of the project is now five thousand.

"At the beginning we paid another contractor probably aquarter of a million dollars to clear the property, so that’s where some of themoney went earlier," Hill said.

Hill said they had to hire another contractor and a Geotech engineer to move the project along. On Monday, the Craighead Quorum Court appropriated enough moneyto finish the project.

"I commend them for making a decision toappropriate more money and we appropriated about $475 thousand dollars to seethis project finished.”

Hill said if the weather allows, the project will befinished soon.   

"We’re hoping that we will see some dry days ahead and they’ve assuredme in about 3 or 4 months they can complete the project if the weatherpermitting and we hope it is," he said.

Hill said the project should be complete by September 2013. He said he is committed to seeing this project through to the end.

"People of Craighead County promised the people a lake andby the court making the decision that they made last night," he said. "We are going tohopefully see it done by the end of this summer.”

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