September 17, 2008 Edition

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Hoxie considering
trash pickup options

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

Scott Downum, owner of Downums Waste Services, discussed the possibility of Downums taking over residential trash pickup in Hoxie at the Sept. 9 city council meeting.

Downum proposed that trash pickup would continue at one time a week and billing would go through the water bill. Rates presently range from $7 to $8. Downum priced services at a minimum of $7.50 per household.

"We won't be able to offer this price anywhere else," Downum said. "We don't have traveling costs in Hoxie like we do in other cities."

Hoxie resident Carroll Goodin said, "We need to look at whether the city is losing money on the trash pick-up. We, as citizens, may need to realize that we need to pay more for this service."

Mayor Donnie Roberts said, "Another point to realize is that presently there is no employees in the office to help on the road needs on Monday and Tuesday, because they are on the garbage truck."

Dewey Scott asked, "If you intend to farm out the garbage service, how do you plan to pay the road department employees?"

It was decided that Roberts, Downum and council member Jim Kirksey would meet at 8 a.m. on Sept. 16 to discuss details before the council votes on the proposal.

Hoxie Volunteer Fire Chief Rob Needham discussed several items affecting the financial needs of the fire department.

"Last year and this year there was some money spent from the ACT 833 money that shouldn't have come out of that fund," he said.

Homeland Security has criteria as to how the money in the ACT 833 fund should be spent. Needham said this fund can be withdrawn if criteria are not strictly followed.

It was advised that money spent that might be questionable would be returned to the ACT 833 fund and taken instead from the general fund. The council voted to pay up to a total amount of $3,500 back into the ACT 833 fund.

Needham also informed the council that, according to the ACT 833 guidelines, the Hoxie Fire Department could not pay for more than 10 years on equipment. There was a previous 30-year agreement to pay $5,000 per year on a new fire truck. The fire department has paid for four years.

Needham encouraged the council to reconsider this payment on the basis that the fire department is already struggling to afford its basic needs. Needham also discussed the efforts of the fire department personnel to be frugal in their expenditures. Discussion is to be continued on this topic at the next council meeting.

In other business:

  • fire codes were discussed that would govern businesses and could protect the city of Hoxie from possible expense.

  • permission was granted for James Houston, an employee of the Hoxie Water department, to take the city truck home on weekends when he is on call.

  • John Stowers was asked to make a written request of the planning and zoning committee regarding his desire to have his lot on Southwest Boas and Highway 67 North zoned commercial. He was also informed that a public meeting would need to be held before the council could vote on the matter.

  • the council voted to pay $4,292.01 in support of the Summer 2008 Hoxie Baseball Program. The council expressed a desire to assess this expense on a yearly basis.

  • the council discussed the option of the city burning brush. Roberts was to attempt to get permission from the county judge.

  • City Attorney Bobby Gibson asked the council to review the proposed dog ordinance and make recommendations. The recommendations would be discussed at the next council meeting.

  • the equipment auction set for Sept. 27 was announced. A list is printed in The Times Dispatch in the legal notices.

  • it is being considered to have employees take the day after Christmas, which is a Friday, as a vacation day or off without pay. This will also be discussed at the next council meeting.

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