June 16, 2010 Edition

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Hoxie hopes to lower fire rating

Leslie L. Ginn
Staff Writer

Dewey Scott addressed the Hoxie City Council meeting on June 8 about efforts to lower the ISO rating in the city. In 2007, Hoxie's ISO rating went from a level 7 to a 6. Efforts now are aimed at eventually lowering the rating to a level 3.

"A lower ISO rating would attract businesses to Hoxie and benefit residents in many ways," Scott said. "A level 3 ISO rating would give a $220,500 residential yearly insurance savings and at least $50,000 for businesses, schools and churches. This is a nearly $300,000 savings in insurance for residents."

Scott proposed a meeting with Wayne Menley of Miller-Newell Engineers of Newport to discuss present water and fire department conditions and a plan to implement changes that would lower the rating. Menley is also knowledgeable about possible grants to assist Hoxie in replacing pipe that is too small for water flow needs.

"Hoxie needs four things to lower our fire rating: more firefighters at fires, additional firefighter training, developing pre-fire plans on how to fight fires for particular structures and the ability to pump 3,000 gallons of water per minute to fight fires," Scott said.

The ability to pump the needed gallons of water is possible with the new water system expected to be finished in 2011, but Hoxie will need to also replace pipes that are too small as well as add adequate pumps to get the water into the water towers.

Fire Chief Robbie Needham asked about the possibility of tapping into the main line with hydrants, as Portia has done.

"In addition to putting in place all these other measures, tapping into the main lines would help produce high volumes of water because they are 10-inch lines," Needham said.

The council approved meeting with Menley to gain the information they need on how to proceed.

In other business:

  • Mayor Donnie Roberts told the council that Daniel Price, an employee of the Hoxie Fire Department, has turned in his two-week notice and applications are being reviewed to replace him.

  • Scott also informed the council that the Hoxie Save-A-Lot grocery store has paid back $50,000 of its re-use loan. Danny Simpson has paid off his loan in full, and Bill Jones and Ray J. Cain are current on their loans. There is an additional $324,000 available for loans in the Re-Use Fund.

  • Roberts informed the council that Delta Asphalt of Paragould received the bid for repairing the streets. Roberts also suggested considering putting more money from the budget into repairing the streets. Work is anticipated to begin in July, but no definite schedule has been set.

  • Resident Redda Russell asked about the absence of the city attorney. Roberts explained that the city pays him according to how much he works, and it is not necessary for him to attend every meeting.

  • Dale Johnson expressed a concern about the danger of condemned houses for children. Roberts said that the city is working on the problem.

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