Committee presented consolidation impact findings in Hoxie

(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - Members of the Walnut Ridge Economic Impact Committee presented their findings again at a meeting on Thursday, but this time in Hoxie.

The meeting was held at the Hoxie Church of Christ, located at 603 SW Broad Street.

According to the committee, it was the same briefing that was held two weeks ago at a public meeting in Walnut Ridge and will make this the last public presentation of the study.

The committee wanted to give Hoxie residents an equal chance to be informed.

According to the committee chairman, citizens from both towns started asking about consolidation after the College City was annexed into the city of Walnut Ridge last year.

The committee was formed to look at finances for both Walnut Ridge and Hoxie and to decide if consolidation would be beneficial and feasible.

According to their findings, consolidation would eliminate competition among businesses in the towns and increase productivity.

Findings showed that there would be lower sanitation rates in Walnut Ridge and it would lower the property tax in Hoxie by .6 mills.

Other benefits outlined during the meeting include making infrastructure improvements to water and sewer lines, paving residential streets in Hoxie, and consolidating their assets to grow the local economy and tax base.

Right now, however, each city does have enough money to cover their debts and water and sewer bonds.

A Lawrence County citizen at the meeting said the presentation was very informative.

"The presentation was great," said Arch Harden, a Walnut Ridge resident. "I think they put the program over real well. An as a whole community, of the community, it will work."

To consolidate, petitions would have to be signed by 15% of those who voted in the last mayoral election from each town and a majority of both towns must vote for consolidation for it to pass.

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker has also formed a committee to look at what a consolidation would mean for his residents.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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