June 26, 2013 Edition

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Hoxie City Council
holds public hearing

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

Hoxie City Council held a public hearing on Monday regarding a water and sewer bond in the amount of $309,000. The council passed an ordinance authorizing the issuance of the bond in a city council meeting immediately following the hearing.

The bond will pay for updates on the water and sewer system including renovations to both wastewater pump stations and the replacement of 900 water meters within the city limits.

The replacement meters will give more accurate water readings and have a water leak indicator. Mayor Lanny Tinker said that citizens should expect an increase in their water bills following the replacement of their meter but that it should help account for some of the missing water.

Mayor Tinker reported that nearly 50% of the city's water use is unaccounted for.

During the hearing, citizens voiced concerns about the future of their water and cost of their bill.

Mayor Tinker reported that there was a recent computer glitch that caused a majority of citizens to get billed on a six-week cycle rather than the usual 30-day cycle, which caused an increase in the bills.

Regarding the bond issue, Mayor Tinker informed citizens that the bond is necessary to keep the water and sewer running.

"Without the bond, we go out of business; it's as simple as that," he said.

Mayor Tinker has asked citizens to report clear, freestanding water in yards and ditches, and irregular bill costs to city hall.

Also, Mayor Tinker said that inmates in the work release program are prohibited from reading the meters without direct supervision. Any violations of this policy should be reported.

Also at the meeting:

  • the council adopted a resolution to reschedule a public hearing on sewer rates for July 9 at 6 p.m.

  • the council approved a new uniform policy for the street and sanitation departments. The policy provides a $350 allowance to be deducted from each department's fund to purchase city-approved clothing for work uniforms for full-time employees.

  • the council approved a new fire department policy for a take-home vehicle program for employees required to be on call 24-hours a day. Assignments of take-home vehicles must be made by the mayor and approved by the council.

  • Mayor Tinker reported that John Kopp, manager of Walnut Ridge City Water Works, will act as interim Hoxie water/wastewater superintendent after the resignation of James Houston on May 13. Mayor Tinker said that Kopp will not be taken away from his responsibilities in Walnut Ridge.

  • Mayor Tinker got approval from the council to pursue bids for a new bush hog after the city's current one was deemed unrepairable.

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