February 22, 2017 Edition

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Hoxie prepping for
economic development

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker gave his state of the city report at the Feb. 14 city council. In it, he addressed some developments in the city as well as its financial status.

Tinker provided figures for the beginning balances of the different city funds. Showing $633,601.55 between general, street, water and sewer, this is a slight increase from the beginning balances in 2016 and 2015 and a significant increase over 2014's $556,512.96 beginning balances.

Additionally, the city has $335,414.22 in a job stimulus fund to be used in economic development, $57,000 in a garbage truck replacement fund and a $128,000 reserve that is meant for true emergencies.

"The city of Hoxie is financially stable," Tinker said in his report. "Some have tried to spread the misconception that the city of Hoxie is broke."

The mayor went on to talk about plans for the Commerce Street development. The development is located on the south side of Hoxie where the Highway 63 bypass intersects with the Highway 67 interchange, which opened recently.

"The city of Hoxie recognized the potential of this area and, under the direction of Mayor Donnie Roberts and his administration, expanded the development of utilities for the property in 2009-10," Tinker reported.

The city has maintained the job stimulus fund for this project. The funds were used to invest in five acres at the site in the fall of 2016 at a cost of $150,000.

Miller-Newell Engineers of Newport has surveyed the land and is developing street plans. "We will build streets for phase one of this development in the spring of 2017," Tinker said in his report.

A committee was formed to oversee the Commerce development. Terry Ryan, Wilson Schmidt, Tim Taylor, Lanny Tinker, Donald Johnson, Charlie Cook, Jeff Brady, Greg Coats and Terrell Downing were appointed to the committee.

Tinker also said that construction in the city is up with multiple apartments recently built, as well as plans to build three more duplexes on Andrews Street and Maximum Diesel truck parts store.

Also at the meeting, the council approved the first reading of an ordinance to amend Hoxie Municipal Code regarding property upkeep. The ordinance, if passed, would establish a habitual offender policy for those receiving three notices to clean up their property. A habitual offender will be subject to additional fines up to $1,000.

"All we're asking for is for people to keep their property clean," Tinker said.

The ordinance will also aid the city in gaining first priority status over other lien holders. This would apply when the city places a lien on a property on which it has incurred clean-up expenses and speed up the clean-up process.

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