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— The Benton County assessor will move the appraisal office from 110 W. Central Ave. to 306 N.E. Blake St. on Dec. 31.

The move comes after the assessor became aware that the lease payment for the current site will go up, Assessor Bill Moutray said.

"That kind of generated my looking for other places to go," Moutray said.

Renting the new space will mean a substantial savings for the county.

Rent for the current location is $5,065 per month, with rent for the new location $2,684 - $2,381 per month less than what is currently being spent. The building is the former location of Bentonville Medical Associates.

The second advantage to the new space is parking, Moutray said.

"That is such a big asset for downtown Bentonville. Any office in downtown with parking, that is a big plus," Moutray said.

Although the lease does not begin until Dec. 1, Moutray hopes to begin the moving process as early as October after the fiber-optic communications lines are installed.

Benton County Judge Dave Bisbee signed a sixmonth lease extension on the building at 105 S.E. Executive Drive that currently houses the Benton County Election Commission. That lease is for $4,837.50 per month.

County officials chose to extend the current lease rather than renew it for an additional two years because of the potential that the Election Commission might be moved into a new space, said Bill Williams, Election Commission chairman.

"We really have an obligation to cut back on our spending, so that is going to be my main concern," he said.

News, Pages 13 on 09/09/2009

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