February 14, 2007 Edition

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Economic development
discussed at town meeting

Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts shows the area planned for development located on the bypass to citizens at a town meeting held last Thursday evening.
TD Photo ~ Amber Adams

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts discussed plans for economic development with citizens at a town meeting held last Thursday evening at the Hoxie Service Center.

Land owner Wilson Schmidt was also at the meeting discussing plans for his property located between Sullens Road and Lawrence County Road 701 in Hoxie.

Schmidt owns over 40 acres of land in this area. Tentative plans include a housing development, shopping centers, restaurants, a fire department substation and a service road.

Roberts said that there is currently no particular business interested in the area, but there are a couple of investors looking to back interested businesses.

"We can see a great thing for Hoxie, Walnut Ridge and especially for Lawrence County as a whole," said Roberts, adding that every city in the county benefits from sales tax.

Several members of the Walnut Ridge City Council attended the meeting, along with Mayor Michelle Rogers.

Roberts said the funding will work as a loan with Schmidt borrowing the money from Hoxie' reuse fund, rather than a bank.

The first project before looking at businesses to invest in the area, Roberts said, is a major citywide cleanup, which has already begun.

"Beautification is more than just planting flowers," he said, adding that the council needs to look at creating ordinances and enforcing them.

"We have sat back and let this happen to our city. Now it's time to get things going in the other direction."

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