June 29, 2016 Edition

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Ma & Pa's to move to Hoxie

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

After years of being vacant, the former Save-A-Lot store in Hoxie will now house the long-standing Ma & Pa's Flea Market, currently located on U.S. 67B in Walnut Ridge.

The Hoxie City Council unanimously approved the sale of the building at the June 21 meeting to Clifton and Diann Powers at the purchase price of $150,000.

Mayor Lanny Tinker said he expected the closing of the sale to be quick with $10,000 up front and the remaining $140,000 to be paid in installments. The money would be put into the Job Stimulus Fund, which is used in the economic advancement of the city of Hoxie.

While the hope had been to use the building for a new grocery store, after months of attempts, Tinker said this was a good deal for the city, especially considering the city is paying $2,800 in insurance and $1,200 in electricity for the building annually.

Diann Powers said they are excited about the acquisition, as they have wanted their own building for quite some time.

Beginning their business about 25 years ago, Powers said she is thankful for the support they have received through their patrons. Powers and her husband have wanted to move into their own building for several years but were having trouble finding one big enough.

She said when the former Save-A-Lot building came up for sale for a non-grocery business, she had the feeling it was meant to be. A feeling that was cemented after speaking with Tinker on the Monday prior to the city council meeting and discovering that they were prepared to pass the resolution right away.

"We couldn't be happier where we are," Powers said. "Walnut Ridge has been really good to us, but we really wanted a building of our own."

Powers said she expects to be moved to the new building by September. She added that they are grateful for all their customers from Walnut Ridge, Hoxie and surrounding areas and looks forward to seeing them at the new location.

In other business, a proposed rezoning at 1315 Southeast Front that would allow for the building of apartments on the property was brought before the council. The issue had been discussed at a previous meeting, though no action could be taken then due to the sign posted at the property receiving damage.

Alderman Becky Linebaugh expressed concerns about having apartments build on every city block and also felt it was setting up the city to look shabby as apartments often wear down quickly.

The property in question is located near some long-term residential housing, which brought Debby Rogers to the meeting as she is one of the homeowners nearby.

"I'm not opposed to the apartments," she said in regards to the need for more housing Hoxie. "It is in the middle of eight to 10 homes and that bothers me." She explained she didn't like breaking up the city in a manner she referred to as "checker boarding."

Tinker agreed that the planning and zoning commission set up zones for the city in the beginning and they are making exceptions on their own rules.

Due to the lack of a motion, no vote was taken on the rezoning.

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