BENTON, Ark. – Winter weather problems continue to trickle down to ongoing water issues in Benton, affecting homeowners, businesses and even school districts.
The ongoing boil water advisory for the city of Benton forced the Benton Public Schools to close, but thanks to a local partnership, students will be back sooner than planned.
Thanks to Everett Dealerships and their donation of 800 cases of bottle water, Benton Public Schools will shift back to in person learning Wednesday.
“The mayor let us know the need out there, for the schools to reopen they had to have water and that’s what we want to do,” Susie Everett said.
The donation was welcomed by school officials, and members of the varsity football helped to bring the delivery from the dealership to the school.
“A lot of people have struggled for the last several days, I know that’s part of the reason we haven’t been in school this week, so it’s big for Everett to step up,” Benton High School head football coach Brad Harris said.
This water will be for drinking. School officials said the water in the bathrooms has been deemed safe for hand-washing.
Harris believes this will help students back in the groove of being back in class.
“Well, I think they’re excited to get back,” he said. “We had just gotten on a routine a little bit when we came back from Christmas break with classes and everything, so I think the guys were ready to be in that routine because nothing has been normal this year.”
“It makes me feel pretty good, I’ve been at home bored,” Benton football player and student Eli Krebs said. “We can finally come back, and we have the water here, so don’t have to worry about that.”
Everett hopes that the donation from her company is just a drop in the bucket of the community pitching in to help neighbors.
“As we give, I do hope others think, ‘Hey, I can do that, too,’ even if it’s one case of water,” she said.
The district will continue to have virtual Fridays as scheduled previously. Benton Utilities announced on social media they need everyone to continue water conservation through Sunday.