One week after “no-fly zone” passes, Hoxie rescinds ordinance in special called meeting

One week after “no-fly zone” passes, Hoxie rescinds ordinance in special called meeting

HOXIE, Ark. (KAIT) - In a special called city council meeting Tuesday, the Hoxie city council rescinded a no-fly zone ordinance that passed just last week.

This news comes as a relief to farmers, especially those near the Hoxie sewer pond.

The ordinance had implemented a no-fly zone for a one-mile radius around the pond.

“I knew something drastic had to happen, or we were going to be out of business farming,” David Dobbs, the owner of the land around the pond, said.

“Believe it or not, I found out on Facebook. I just glanced at it, and then I realized that it was a mile and, then I said ‘Well that will take all of our farms out, as well as the farms south of us and everything north of us.’”

The city adopted the ordinance in response to a notice of several violations from the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality.

Among those violations were nitrogen levels in the pond that was above the ideal level.

The ADEQ recommended the ordinance after they said the levels came from farmers dropping pellets and spraying their crops while flying over the pond.

“We don’t want to hurt any farmers at all,” Mayor Dennis Coggins said. “We were just wanting to protect our sewer pond.”

Mayor Coggins said after the ordinance passed last week, he received calls from concerned farmers, including one who made him realize the problem the no-fly zone presented.

“It was my fault,” Coggins said. “I should’ve followed up a lot more on it than what I did. We all decided to rescind the ordinance and go back and trust the farmers, and that is where we are at. We are family here, and so we’re all going to get along.”

While the council rescinded the ordinance, farmers at the meeting told Mayor Coggins and the city council that they won’t spray near the pond.

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