January 18, 2012 Edition

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Hoxie working to finilize budget

Leslie Ginn
Staff Writer

The 2012 budget was the main topic of discussion at the Hoxie City Council meeting on Jan. 10.

"The budget must be considered carefully, especially in light of the infrastructure issues we are facing," said Mayor Lanny Tinker. "As the budget presently stands, Hoxie will use $86,000 more than we calculate will be brought in throughout the year. This amount will seriously deplete Hoxie's reserves totaling $218,000."

Tinker said that projections for 2012 were based on actual money spent last year. The income is down by $5,000 in state money and $7,000 in franchise tax.

"I believe this could be one of the most difficult budget adoptions our city council has faced in years," Tinker reported. "Hoxie is facing multiple and complex issues that impact the financial stability of our city."

Tinker made suggestions to the council regarding items that could be cut to bring the $86,000 excess to a more manageable amount, such as $40,000 to $50,000. The budget should have been submitted by Dec. 1; however, the need for accurate information on anticipated expenses has delayed the process. The council must pass the budget by Jan. 30 and a special meeting was set for Tuesday to continue discussion.

It was reported that smoke testing on the sewer lines is being conducted by Arkansas Rural Water in Hoxie throughout the month of January. If a resident experiences smoke inside their home or business, it is a sign of faulty plumbing. Faulty plumbing can cause the leakage of harmful sewer gases. Residents can contact Hoxie City Hall if the smoke tests reveal a need for further investigation.

"The sewer line problems may be less than what was previously anticipated; however, the extent of damage still needs to be determined," said Tinker.

An ordinance was passed that outlaws cross-connection as required by the Arkansas State Health Department. This will keep the public water supply from being contaminated. This ordinance primarily affects business owners; however, it may affect residents if plumbing allows a backflow into the system. A partial list of businesses that may pose potential risk is listed in the ordinance.

Don King, chairman of the reuse committee, suggested the approval of a re-use loan for Simpson Body Shop. Danny Simpson, who has already been successful in paying off a re-use loan, was approved for a new loan that is backed by appropriate collateral.

Mike Harmon of the Hoxie Police Department was praised for discovering smoke coming from Pizza Den on Christmas Eve. Major damage was avoided because of the alertness of Officer Harmon.

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