August 22, 2012 Edition

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Water usage topic
at Hoxie meeting

Susan Johnson
Contributing Writer

Water was the main topic of discussion during the Aug. 14 meeting of the Hoxie City Council.

Mayor Lanny Tinker shared with justices that water usage was below the Northeast Arkansas Regional Water Authority's original expectations, leading to a possible increase in Hoxie residents' water rates as early as next year.

Tinker attributed the leading factor to old, outdated water meters and proposed the idea of implementing new, more efficient water meters.

"When they (NEA Regional Water Authority) figured the rates it was based on a number of gallons used," Mayor Tinker explained. "We've had a shortfall of the number of gallons predicted. We're not generating enough to cover the rates."

Mayor Tinker said the old meters were "losing approximately 30 percent," and the new, more efficient meters would also have leak indicators.

Justices approved the motion to allow Mayor Tinker and Hoxie City Water to spend funds from a special account for a water meter replacement program in an effort to give a more accurate account of water usage within the Hoxie City limits.

The council also approved the cost of $200 (with no deposit) for Hoxie residents to install a second meter for sprinkling lawns, additional watering, etc., along with agreeing to reimburse deposits to residents who had already installed a second meter, effective Aug. 15.

Justices approved a new location for the grain bed truck used for extra rubbish to the front of Hoxie City Hall, just across from the Hoxie Police Department. Mayor Tinker said it was his belief individuals, other than Hoxie residents, had been using the dumpster; therefore, the move could rectify the problem.

The Hoxie clean-up ordinance is still in effect, and Mayor Tinker reported improvement had been made throughout the city as a result of the enforced policy.

In other business, the council adopted a resolution supporting the "Close the Gap" proposal. Mayor Tinker said it was his understanding the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department will complete Route 67 to interstate standards between Little Rock and the intersection near Hoxie/Walnut Ridge border close to Cox Powersports in 2015.

This leaves a gap of 62.6 miles to the Missouri line. As part of the Northeast Arkansas region, the council and residents of Hoxie are giving its support to encourage the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department to complete the gap.

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