Bono Lake Now in Voters' Hands

CRAIGHEAD COUNTY, AR -- The idea for a recreational lake that will solve flooding problems in the small Craighead County town of Bono started in 1999. After facing many funding battles, the Bono Lake now lies in the voters' hands.

Just months ago, several county leaders traveled to Washington D.C. to lobby funding for the $4.1 million dollar Bono Lake Project. The Corps of Engineers told Craighead County the funding just isn't there. That's what led us here. It's now up to the voters to decide if a 3 month countywide 1-cent sales tax is worth it. Standing at the polls on the last day of early voting, we got mixed opinions on the tax.

"People get to vote on it and that's the fair way to do it. If it will help prevent any kind of flooding in Bono, that's great and if it would provide some fishing for people in the area, that's be good also. A lot of people are just anti-tax anything and I think this tax for only 3 months, it won't be that much for anybody," says Marvin Jumper, a voter for the tax.

The sales tax if passed would be collected from October to December of this year and is expected to generate 4 million dollars. While most of the people we spoke with were for the tax, not everyone agreed.

"The north side of Craighead County is covered with watershed lakes already and I don't know that we need another one, especially with raising taxes," says Randal Gerdeas, a voter against the tax.

Even young voters showed up at the polls to cast their vote.

"I'm against it because I think there are other places that need it more, like Bay. I live in Bay and Bay floods a lot," says Tyna Cravens, a young voter that is against the tax.

Jacquelyn Sauscr, a retired Craighead County resident, thinks it's worth her tax dollars.

"I really think it would be good for the economy and also for recreation for young people and families that want to be together," says Sauscr.

The site for the proposed lake is about 2 miles northeast of Bono on Crowley's Ridge, right where a spring runs year-round. Barbara Walker cast her vote in favor of the tax, as she thinks the lake would be perfect for this area.

"I have 11 grandkids and I sure don't like having to drive miles to take them fishing and for recreation, for picnicking and having a good time at the lake," says Walker.

The official day for this special election is Tuesday, June 12. Seven polling sites will be operating around Craighead County from 7:30 in the morning to 7:30 Tuesday night.

Here are the places you can go cast your vote:

-Precincts 1, 2, 5, and 17: Parker Park Community Center, 1522 North Church, Jonesboro

-Precincts 6, 8, 3, and 9: Northeast Arkansas District Fairgrounds, 2807 East Highland, Jonesboro

-Precincts 4, 7, and 15: YMCA, 1421 West Nettleton, Jonesboro

-Precincts 10, 22, and 23: Bono Senior Citizens Center, College, Bono

-Precincts 11, 23, 14, and 18: Lake City City Hall, 406 Court, Lake City

-Precincts 13, 19, and 21: Brookland Fire Station, 309 North Burnis, Brookland

-Precincts 16 and 20: Bay Community Center, Bay