April 16, 2008 Edition

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Hoxie City Council votes
to support development

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Milton Smith, president of First National Bank headquartered in Walnut Ridge and chair of Economic Development Committee for the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, and Wayne Gearhart, executive director of Randolph County Chamber of Commerce, presented information regarding the Regional Intermodal Facilities Development planned for this area to the Hoxie City Council on April 8. The council voted unanimously in a commitment to support the project. (See related article.)

Mayor Donnie Roberts said, "Our first major goal with this project is to increase jobs. Second, we want it to stimulate retail growth and industrial growth. This will offer our citizens a higher standard of living."

If the development is established then the City of Hoxie will contribute $13,500 as seed money to help procure grants. Hoxie will seek to gain a spur off the railroad, as well as equipment and facilities to support increased industry.

The council also heard from Hoxie resident Dale Johnson who reported that the property adjoining Paula and Renee streets would need a new survey in order to be placed on a platte record prior to being dedicated to the city. The landowners involved desire the city to accept the street without them having to incur further personal cost.

Dumpster costs for the Hoxie Schools were evaluated during the last month. A new charge of $285 per month beginning in May 2008 will allow the city to break even. This new amount was agreed upon with Hoxie School Superintendent Dennis Truxler.

Several new policies affecting the personnel handbook for city employees were accepted in a resolution. The changes include holiday pay after 90 days of employment; paid sick leave after one-year employment; reimbursement for meal allowance per day of $30; and uniform requirements, including ballistic vests for police officers.

A grant to purchase new ballistic vests for Hoxie police officers has been applied for and approved. Information is being sought as to when the vests will be able to be purchased.

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