Texarkana Texas City Council Votes Against Rezoning Request

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During a Texarkana, Tx City Council meeting on Monday, January 25, the Board voted against approving a rezoning request that would have allowed construction of small rental homes in a South Texarkana neighborhood. Neighbors of the lots located in the 2000 and 2100 blocks of South State Line Avenue and the 2100 block of Spruce Street, signed a petition objecting to the rezoning, resulting in a council vote of 4 to 2 against the approval.

The Council did vote, however, to approve the rezoning request to change 2800 W 15th St. from Multiple Family 1 to Planned Development-Neighborhood service, allowing mixed uses for the property including flea markets, retail and wholesale for new and used goods.

Additionally, the Council voted to approve a new ordinance regulating where helicopters can land within the city limits. The ordinance requires that a landowner must acquire a temporary landing permit before helicopters can land on their property. However, helistops or designated landing spots would not require the permit. This issue is a result of recent incidents from a private helicopter pilot landing in vacant lots near Margaret Fischer Davis Elementary School, resulting in safety concerns felt by the community.

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The Council also heard a briefing on a plan to resume residential single-stream recycling in the city that involves a waste removal rate increase that would be phased in over the course of a year. Since a processing plant in Shreveport, Louisiana stopped accepting mixed recyclables, Waste Management has been burying those collected items at Texarkana residences in its New Boston, Texas landfill since last September. A rate increase is needed to support the transportation of recyclables to WM’s processing facility in Arlington, Texas.

If approved, the city will assume a portion of the cost by reducing the number of free waste bin removals in the contract. The remaining rated increase of $3.42 per month would be split in half with one $1.71 increase taking effect by October 1 at the latest, and another taking effect a year later.

According to Doug Sims with WM, re-permitting for WM’s transfer station on W 7th St. where city recyclables would first be collected, could take three to four months. Additionally, capital improvements needed at that facility will cost around $40,000 in the short term and could cost up to $360,000 over the next 5 years. A manager at the station also must undergo additional training for the proper licensure and certification. If all goes as planned, the single-stream, curbside recycling collection is likely to resume between June 1 and July 1.

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