January 21, 2009 Edition

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Cleanup citations discussed
at Hoxie Council meeting

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

The trash and sanitation needs of the city of Hoxie were explored by the Hoxie City Council at its Jan. 13 meeting.

After discussion by the council and residents in atendance, a special meeting was set at city hall on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 6:30 p.m. to vote on ordinances that will decide the issue on the city's garbage pickup. The meeting is open to the public. (See related article.)

Chris Harper expressed a concern regarding a cleanup notice for his property on Southwest Hartigan Street that he received from Pat Sluder, the city code enforcement officer. Harper admitted that he is storing a few unsightly items, including broken windows and boards among other things, but that he is keeping them neatly behind his shop and away from the public sight.

"I think it is important that everyone understands the process of this cleanup effort as a result of ordinance 322-1," said Mayor Donnie Roberts. "When the code enforcement officer finds a violation regarding the cleanliness of someone's property, either because of a complaint or by personal observation, then a 10-day courtesy notice is issued."

The notice gives an opportunity for a person to clean up their property without any court involvement or fines. If someone does not make the necessary improvements by the end of that 10-day period then a hard copy of the ticket is issued and the matter enters the court system."

It was noted that more than 100 courtesy notices have been issued since Sluder became the code enforcement officer last September.

Harper said, "I think the city needs to have a clear cut plan that requires the city to clean up its own property before expecting residents and businesses to clean theirs."

After discussion, the matter remained unresolved. According to the city ordinance, if Harper takes no action, a judge will ultimately settle the dispute.

The council passed a resolution inviting bids to fill the position of city attorney. It was noted that this same practice saved Hoxie considerable money last year. The responsibilities of the city attorney are divided into civil needs and criminal needs. The civil city attorney is paid per diem. The criminal city attorney's salary is determined for the whole year, not per case. All bids must be sealed and received by Feb. 3, 2009.

The council committees for 2009 were announced. Police/fire committee members are Adam Pratt, Jim Kirksey and Roberts, street/sanitation committee members are Kenneth Quarry, Sherry Moore and Roberts; and water/sewer committee members are Karen Williams, Richard Combs and Roberts.

Moore said, "I suggest each committee set regular meeting times to better stay up to date on Hoxie's needs."

In other business:

  • a 2009 budget ordinance was passed that reflects estimated revenues and expenses.

  • Bill Jones' request for an extended loan period that would modify payments on his reuse loan was approved.

  • a request made by Police Chief Glen Smith for a $1 raise for Sluder was approved.

  • the target opening date for the Hoxie Save-A-Lot was estimated as Feb. 11.

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