November 12, 2008 Edition

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Hoxie garbage pickup adjusted

John Bland
The Hoxie City Council voted unanimously Monday night to return to twice weekly trash pickup for its residents beginning next week.

Hoxie has previously had trash pickup twice weekly, but in July voted to go to once per week, a change that began in August.

Alderman Marty Harris made the motion to return to twice weekly garbage pickup. He said that several Hoxie citizens had asked him to present the motion. Alderman Kenneth Quarry seconded the motion, which passed after some discussion. The motion included that adjustments could be made at the next council meeting if needed.

The trash schedule will return to the prior schedule of picking up the east side of town on Monday and Thursday and the west side of town on Tuesday and Friday. In other business, the council heard from several guests including Milton Smith, who is involved with the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority project.

Smith reported on the progress of the intermodal authority and asked for formal approval of the agreement, which was unanimous. The purpose of the authority is to attract high-paying jobs to the region, which includes Corning, Pocahontas, Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and Lawrence and Randolph counties.

Hoxie will be included in a study of the region coordinated by Dr. Gregory Hamilton of UALR. The study will give such information as strengths and weaknesses of the community, Smith said.

Richard Millsap, who lives on Southwest Broad Street, appealed to the council for help or suggestions on how to deal with stray cats around his property. "I feel like we're getting overrun by cats," he said.

Mayor Donnie Roberts said the city would see if any Arkansas cities have leash laws regarding cats, check on live trapping laws and get back with Millsap.

Dewey Scott, who is a member of the fire committee, discussed with the council efforts to lower the ISO fire rating, which in turn means insurance savings for city residents.

Scott said to lower the rating from a five to a four, the city must concentrate on fire training, the number of firemen going to fires and conducting building inspections and properly recording them.

The lower rating could save residents a total of $200,000, he added.

Mayor Roberts also reported that the city office will be understaffed during the next few weeks as two employees will be out due to medical reasons.

He told the council he wanted to close the office from 12 to 1 for lunch beginning Dec. 1. City hall is apparently the only location taking Entergy bill payments in the area at this time, and it is keeping them busy almost constantly.

Katie Smith, city clerk-treasurer, said one person cannot handle the traffic at lunch. "We do it (accept the Entergy payments) to provide a service," she explained.

Mayor Roberts announced that the employee Christmas dinner would be held Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Hoxie Service Center. John 3:16 will cater the meal.

The council also approved bonuses of $100 for full-time employees and $25 for part-time employees. The bonuses will be given out at the dinner.

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