June 18, 2008 EditionAlso in this issue...
HPD chief to retireLeslie Ginn
It was announced at Hoxie's City Council Meeting, last Tuesday, that Kenny Jones will be retiring as Hoxie police chief as of July 1. Jones has served a total of 31 years as a police officer with most of his service in Lawrence County. The new police chief will be Glen Smith.
"We appreciate the service that Kenny Jones has given," Mayor Donnie Roberts said. "He was good for Hoxie. We invite all friends and relatives to a retirement celebration to be held at the city hall on July 1 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. I hope several will drop in and wish him well."
"We look forward to working with Glen Smith, as well," Roberts added.
Smith began his police career in Hoxie in 1991, and also worked for the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department. In 2000, he became an Arkansas Highway patrolman. Smith transferred for one year to the Trumann PD before returning to Hoxie for the last year. He has lived in this area all his life. Smith and his wife, Tara, live in Imboden. He has three sons, two of whom attend Hoxie School.
"I will do my best to help Hoxie continue moving forward," Smith said. "I am also interested in working with the youth in the area."
It was also announced that after about a year of effort, as part of a three-year plan, Hoxie has been selected as an Arkansas Community of Excellence (ACE).
According to the Arkansas Community of Excellence website: "The Arkansas Community of Excellence program (ACE) was developed by the Arkansas Department of Economic Development to help communities prepare themselves for economic growth. By achieving the ACE designation, a community is recognized as being a prime area for economic development. The ACE designation indicates to prospects that the community has what it takes to be a future industry location."
The presentation of the ACE certification will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Hoxie Service Center.
"It is a great honor to receive this award and have Gov. Mike Beebe and State Rep. J.R. Rogers, among other dignitaries, to celebrate with us," Roberts said. "We ask all citizens and employees of Hoxie to support this certification by attending the ceremony."
In other business, Dewey Scott reported to the council that one of the major borrowers of Hoxie's Job Stimulus Re-Use Fund paid off their loan in full last month. There are three small loans totally approximately $60,000 still outstanding.
"The Job Stimulus Re-Use Fund is ready to help new businesses in Hoxie," Scott said.
Hoxie's Job Stimulus Re-Use Fund began during the mid 1980's. Hoxie received a $475,000 supplementary grant and private funding to begin stimulating economic development. This effort constructed the Hoxie Plaza and FCA trucking. The Job Stimulus Re-Use Fund was established to provide loans to private businesses at a low interest rate to be repaid over 15 years. The loan fund value has reached about $1,000,000 and continues to assist both new and expanding businesses.
The land swap planned between Hoxie and Lawrence County had to be postponed pending resolutions needing to be passed by both bodies prior to the exchange of properties. The parcel of land that lies between the two lanes of Highway 63B at the intersection with Highway 67B will be released from the county to the city of Hoxie. In exchange, Lawrence County would receive two lots in the Boas Raney Addition. The exchange is expected to occur next month.