November 23, 2011 Edition

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Alderman appointed at Hoxie

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

During an executive session at the Nov. 15 Hoxie City Council meeting the council nominated and approved the appointment of Larry Couch to replace Richard Combs who resigned due to a job transfer to Florida. Combs was the Ward 2 Position 1 councilman.

Couch was nominated by Tim Taylor and approved by all council members except Kenneth Quarry who abstained. Nomination and voting was repeated during the reconvened council meeting.

Couch, who has been a resident of Hoxie for 66 years, was born in Lawrence County. He and his wife, Joann, have three children, Melinda Ray of Hoxie, Holly Catron of Jonesboro and Todd Couch of Nashville, Tenn. They also have six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

"Hoxie is a great small town," Couch said. "It's a quiet place where everyone knows each other."

The council voted to raise the amount of the holiday bonus for city employees. Part-time employees bonuses will rise from $25 to $100 and full-time employees from $100 to $200. These bonuses will be awarded in December.

In connection to the discussion of bonuses, Mayor Lanny Tinker brought up the concern about the lack of a retirement program for city employees.

"I think it is terrible that employees that loyally work years for the city have nothing provided to retire on," Tinker said. "I am committed over the next three years to change this situation."

The purchase of a used dump truck was approved by all council members, except Adam Pratt who voted negative. The 1993 double-axel diesel Mack dump truck has a 16-foot bed and 562,000 miles and will cost $18,000. Equal amounts will be appropriated from the street department and general funds to pay for the truck.

"After researching the question of our level of need posed by Adam Pratt at the last meeting," said Tinker, "I am absolutely convinced that we need another dump truck for the street and water departments' daily use."

A resolution was also approved for the mayor to pursue a grant for a building to house the Hoxie Water/Sewer departments. The funds to be requested from the GIF Fire Funded Community Grant program total $150,000.

Tinker said, "We have to build the building whether we get the grant of not."

Tinker announced two new hires. Jim Gibbs was hired to fill the administrative assistant/water clerk position. Mark Barnes was employed as the water/waste operator for the water department.

In other business:

Council members and residents were urged to attend the fourth annual Dickens in the Park event beginning at 5 p.m. on December 1.

The Christmas party for city employees will be held Friday, Dec. 9.

The Santa Run will be Dec. 11.

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