Holiday Island candidates gear up for election

Friday, October 20, 2017

HOLIDAY ISLAND—Three candidates are running for two three-year terms on the Holiday Island Suburban Improvement District Board of Commissioners in the upcoming elections. Two are incumbents and one is a relative newcomer to the district but a resident of the area since 1989.

The two incumbents, Bill Noonan and Nita Holley, took turns nominating each other, while Dr. Terry Bushay nominated Mike Thomas. The ballot order was drawn with the following results: Noonan, Thomas and Holley.

Either of the two BOC positions are open to each of the three candidates and the two positions will go to the two who win the most votes. The candidates will put forth their ideas in a candidate forum to be held at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6. in the Clubhouse Ballroom. Candidate profiles should be made public soon on the HISID Newsletter.

Property owners may vote early Nov. 20 through Dec. 4 at the District Office during business hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Requests for absentee ballots can be made in writing to Election Clerk, 110 Woodsdale Drive, Holiday Island, AR, 72631. Requests must include unit, block and lot designations. Absentee ballots will be mailed to requesting property owners shortly after Nov. 1 and must be received in the provided envelope at the District Office by 6 p.m. on Dec. 5.

The official election day is Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 8:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. at the District Office. It will be the first election following a recent court ruling that allows Table Rock Landing timeshare owners one vote per timeshare unit to be cast by a designated agent for the property.

In other business District Manager Lawrence Blood wrote in a statement that the reason landslide damage to a portion of Hawk Drive that occurred on April 26 has gone unrepaired is not because of financial or management problems. Blood wrote, “On the contrary, the planning, permitting and seeking of non-local funding is progressing relatively smoothly.” Because it is the second time such damage has occurred in the same place (the first occurred in 2011) the concern is how to avoid a third incident in the near future.

Initial cost estimates for the repairs were approximately $360,000 and if the repairs were done immediately after the damage was done the costs would have had to come from HISID’s $1.3 million in reserve funds. Because this portion of Hawk Drive is classified as a less traveled secondary road, spending HISID’s emergency reserve funds did not seem prudent, according to Blood.

Since the time of the damage the district wrote and received a $30,000 grant from Western Arkansas Planning and Development for engineering and as a non-federal match to any federal assistance. On June 5, President Trump authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to make federal funding available to local governments on a cost-sharing basis for

disaster-related repairs.

There were many hoops to jump through, and more to come, Blood wrote before coming to the hopeful conclusion that “The majority of the project will be funded with federal funds. The cost-sharing ratio is 75 percent federal money and 25 percent local money; however since we will be receiving the Western Arkansas Planning and Development grant, the District, (AKA ‘you’) will likely have to pay nothing to have the road repaired to a greater standard and designed in a way that we will not have to worry about this location every time it rains.”

Blood put forth a tentative timeline in which the work should be completed in early 2018.

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