March 23, 2016 Edition

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Hoxie to enforce clean-up,
water maintenance work set

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

City cleanup and water system maintenance were among topics discussed at the Hoxie City Council March 15 meeting.

With warmer weather and heavy rains, the city is bracing for mosquitoes and overgrown yards. Code enforcement has already issued many informational door hangers, which include a checklist of violations for the officer to mark and leave instructions on what needs cleaned up.

Mayor Lanny Tinker reiterated that there would be no citywide clean up this spring. The grain bed truck is available for dumping large items at the city shop on weekdays.

"We're taking an aggressive stand on cleanup," Tinker said. The spring 2016 Mayor's Report includes information and instructions on how to keep property maintained.

Water system maintenance continues to be a priority for the city as it works to develop an accurate map of all the shut-off valves. The city often has to shut off large areas when doing water repairs because of valve access.

Tinker proposed a set time to perform maintenance, including repairing or replacing any valves in need, and drawing up a map of the valves in the city. Tinker said he expects the process to take up to a year.

Alderman approved the time for this maintenance for Wednesdays between 1-3 p.m. Citizens should prepare for not having water during this time. Water shut off duration and area will be sporadic. Also at the meeting, Fire Chief Chris Ditto informed the council that the county is working toward getting Hoxie compensated for future calls it makes in the Egypt area. He added that Hoxie has responded in that area for years.

Ditto also gave several updates on training for the department, including his own education toward code enforcement and a rescue technicians training Will Tate and Charles Day attended.

The city of Hoxie is also working toward being named a firewise community. According to Ditto, the department will receive a $2,000 donation upon being named and then $500 annually as long as they still meet the requirements.

In other business:

citizen Roy Meeker inquired about several burned houses in the city and when they would be torn down. Tinker said the process is slow since the city works with a small staff. The work could be outsourced at $2,000 cost per house, but Tinker said he didn't feel that was financially viable.

Tinker gave an update on the former Save-A-Lot building. He said through communications with some potential buyers, he has learned that updating and stocking the store would cost grocers upwards of $600,000, which is holding back many buyers. The building as it stands costs the city about $500 a month for insurance and electricity.

the council accepted a memorandum of understanding with Walnut Ridge to utilize Jumpstart Animal Shelter as a hold facility. Hoxie will contribute $100 a month for utilities plus $7.50 a night for dogs Hoxie animal control brings in.

aldermen accepted a $10,184 bid on a Tuthill Blower from Arkansas Industrial Machinery, Inc.

council members adopted a new municipal code book, which provides easier and quicker access to city ordinances.

the 2015 budget was amended.

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