August 17, 2011 Edition

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Hoxie votes on ordinances

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

On Aug. 9, Hoxie City Council members focused on two ordinances that will affect residents.

The Water and Sewer ordinance had a first and second reading. This ordinance will raise rates in an effort to make the city solvent with increasing costs associated with providing water and sewage.

For water rates: residential and commercial customers will be charged $4.40 per thousand gallons for the first 35,000 gallons and $3.50 per thousand for all gallons over 35,000. All industrial customers will be charged $4.40 per thousand gallons for all usage.

For sewer rates: a charge of $4.40 per thousand will be charged for all residential, commercial and industrial customers.

Deposit charges: Residential homeowners and renters will pay $125 per dwelling, owners of apartment complexes and trailer parks will pay a deposit of $125 per unit. An additional deposit may also be required in special circumstances.

A copy of the proposed ordinance can be viewed at the City Hall. It is expected that the ordinance will receive the final reading and pass at a special meeting on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Hoxie Service Center.

The swimming pool ordinance passed its first (of three) readings. This ordinance requires that all swimming pools be completely surrounded by a fence and acceptable gates for safety precautions. Specific regulations guide the placement and construction of a swimming pool. (See copy of ordinance at Hoxie City Hall for specifics.)

Fire Chief Mark VanBrook has accepted the assignment to be the chairman for the Cultivate Hoxie Commission. The purpose of this commission is to evaluate and improve the cleanliness of Hoxie on many levels. It will also investigate state federal programs that will assist in the overall cleanup focus.

"One thing many citizens ask is what they can personally do that will help Hoxie," said Mayor Lanny Tinker. "I suggest that Hoxie residents seriously consider recycling. Recycling not only saves natural resources, but will be a major benefit of an ongoing solution to our city's cleanliness, as well as finances."

A container is located at Hoxie City Hall for recyclables. All plastic, paper, cans and glass may be deposited in the container without separating first.

It was announced that all "handymen" who work for others for jobs totaling more than $2,000 will be required to obtain a license as required by Act 1208. A "grandfathering" period will exist from July 27 to Dec. 31, 2011, during which no test will be required for obtaining the license.

After Jan. 1, 2012, those who wish to obtain a license will be required to take a test similar to tests given to general contractors. A license is not required by individuals doing work on their own residences or for jobs totaling less than $2,000. Penalties for those working without a license after 2011 will be $400 per day. Information is available www.arkansas.gov/clb or by calling 501-372-4661.

"This includes jobs like concrete and asphalt paving, carpentry, millwork, cabinets, landscaping, masonry, roofing, painting and more," said Tinker. "We are emphasizing this regulation now because after the first of January, the city of Hoxie will pass ordinances that require a licensed worker on all applicable projects."

Council Member Karen Williams invited individuals interested in helping with Dickens in the Park to attend a meeting this Thursday at the community center at 5:30 p.m. Williams said that they plan to make "many expansions" and need both "input and volunteers."

In other business:

  • Earnest Fultner requested that the lines be flushed on Southwest Broad to dislodge clogging.

  • a utility vehicle was purchased for $7,000 to help with mosquito control.

  • Hoxie City Hall renovation is underway. Several individuals were praised for their volunteer efforts, including Will Isreal, Bubba Blackwood, Cassie Sapp, Jim Waldrupe, Matthew Blansett, Rick Isreal and Stanley Schmidt.

  • A new, detailed map has been created by John Dulaney for use by the Hoxie Police Department that allows proper response to citizens' needs.

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