August 22, 2007 Edition

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Hoxie City Council
discusses fire ratings

Amber Adams
Staff Writer

Members of Hoxie City Council discussed several aspects of the city's fire rating during their regular meeting last Tuesday night.

Dewey Scott addressed the council explaining the point system used for the ISO fire rating system. Examples included the emergency system (911) as 10 points, the fire department as 50 points and the water department as 40 points.

He also reported on the July 2007 hydrant test, saying that the fire department should be able to supply 2,000 gallons per minute, but several hydrants are weak and a number of them register zero. He added that though the city has two new fire engines, they cannot pump enough water. This decrease of water flow will cause the city to have a poor fire rating in the upcoming ISO inspection.

Fire Chief Will Tate addressed the council on the subject and said that the city used 400,000 gallons of water to fight the recent Furniture and Appliances Now fire and had to shuttle water from Walnut Ridge. Scott suggested that an analysis be performed on the city's pumps, which are rated at 450 gallons per minute but only pump 300 gallons per minute.

If the city can lower its fire rating to a five, it will save $200 per water meter per year, according to Scott. He added that a lower rating would attract businesses to the area.

Scott provided each alderman with a spreadsheet of revenue for the City of Hoxie from 2004-2006 noting that the percentage of revenue drops each year. He encouraged council members to form business partnerships with businesses that have high volume and generate high sales.

As another approach to attracting merchants, he proposed listing photos of unoccupied buildings, as potential businesses within the city, on the website. Alderman Sherry Moore suggested that any property owner who wishes to have his or her building listed on the website, sign a release form.

Hoxie Mayor Donnie Roberts asked council members to encourage anyone interested in opening a business to contact city hall. He also informed them that the former Fiddler's Catfish building has been purchased by a church and has opened as the Faith Tabernacle Church.

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