November 2, 2011 Edition

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Hoxie approves pool ordinance

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

The Hoxie City Council approved the Swimming Pool Ordinance at its Oct. 25 meeting.

The ordinance pertains to any container that holds more than 12 inches of water used for swimming or bathing. Some discussion was held concerning the ordinance in relation to renters and also regarding the $5 permit fee.

"It seems to me that there was not a lot of consideration made for the renters in Hoxie in reference to this ordinance," resident Will Tate said. "It would be extremely expensive for me to pay to build a fence so I could have a moveable swimming pool, then move to a new location to have to do it all over again."

The importance of safety for children was stressed as to the why this ordinance was developed. The guidelines for a fence in the ordinance stipulate that it has to be a sound structure, not a permanent construction. Fences need to be at least four feet high with openings no larger than four inches and constructed of chain link, solid wood, stone or metal material.

Council member Sherry Moore reported there are plans to create a water park that includes spraying equipment (not including a pool) in the seven-acre lot designated for a new park on the northeast part of Hoxie.

"This may be an option, especially for renters," said Moore "However, the wheels turn slowly."

Council Member Adam Pratt said, "I don't agree that there should be a permit fee. A fee makes it look like we are trying to make money off of this ordinance."

Clarification was made that the permit fee of $5 was a one-time fee per fence. If an individual bought a pool one year and paid the $5 fee then put it up again the following year, paying a permit fee would not be required the second year. The ordinance does have stipulations as to the acceptable location of the pool.

The ordinance was adopted, with Adam Pratt voting "no."

In-ground pool owners whose pools are not within location stipulations have 30 days to apply for a "Non-Conforming Use" permit, which allows the pool to exist in its present condition until June 1, 2025, without penalties.

All new pools must undergo an approval process, including a $5 permit fee and inspector's approval of plans. Violation of this ordinance is subject to a penalty of $25 to $100 per day for each offense.

In another matter, sanitation issues for the city were reviewed. Tate asked for guidelines on the trash procedure.

It was reported that the sanitation department will only pick up bagged trash. There are to be no use of 55-gallon drums because of possible workman's compensation complications. The sanitation department will be advised to be careful to return the trash can and lid to the correct yard.

"City cleanup has not progressed as quickly as we would have liked," said Mayor Lanny Tinker. "One of our dump trucks has broken down and it is not cost efficient to repair it."

After conversation among council members, it was decided to investigate the extent of use of this truck before replacing it, as it may cost the city nearly $30,000 for a used vehicle.

In other business:

  • volunteers, especially the Ralph Joseph Youth Leadership students, working on both the Hoxie City Hall renovation and City Park were praised for their efforts.

  • eight Hoxie Fire Department members were recognized for completing the Medical First Responders and CPR courses.

  • the November billing cycle will be the first bill to reflect the new water rates and will be due Dec. 10.

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