Water rate increase approved by Board of Directors

Charles Lokey, Director of Animal Care and Adoption Center addressed the Board of Directors

In Tuesday’s meeting, the city of Texarkana, Arkansas Board of Directors approved an ordinance authorizing Texarkana Water Utilities (TWU) to raise water rates ten percent for all costumer classifications in order to pay for the purchase of additional Millwood Lake water rights from the Southwest Arkansas Water District.

The raise consists of a 2.79 percent increase per household, and only applies to the water, therefore not affecting sewer fees.

In the January meeting and the first reading of this ordinance, the Board of Directors explained that making this deal was extremely important for the city of Texarkana, Arkansas, not only short-term but long-term as well.

As a result, the purchase of these water rights will only aid in the furthering of Texarkana, Arkansas by expanding economic growth and development of the city as a whole.

According to interim director of Texarkana Water Utilities, this minor raise in each person’s bill will enable the city to purchase 94.8 million gallons of untreated water per day.

Additionally, the Board of Directors voted to adopt an ordinance to execute and impose a strict monitoring and control of dangerous animals in the area.

The Board, as well as attendees at the meeting heard from Charles Lokey, Director of Animal Care and Adoption Center, who expressed serious concerns about the lack of an ordinance prohibiting citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas from keeping vicious and dangerous animals, which impose a threat not only to humans but other domestic animals as well.

Lokey said “there is no ordinance in the City of Texarkana, Arkansas with guidelines that protects the public.” He went on to explain “rarely does a day go by that we don’t have to respond to a vicious animal.”

Some of the guidelines which will be put in place will include dangerous breeds to be kept in very secure pins, ensuring the animal will not get out and cause harm to anyone. There should also be signs in place notifying the public of the animal. Additionally, owners must have proof of liability insurance on the animal.

The ordinance covers canines, wild animals and reptiles. Lokey added, “up to this point if someone wanted to keep a bear or a cobra, there was nothing in the city of Texarkana, Arkansas telling them they couldn’t do that.”

The amendment and revision of portions of Chapter 5’s code of ordinances passed with a unanimous vote and will match the laws on the Texas-side of Texarkana.

“This will bring us in line with (the laws of) our sister city,” explained Ward 4 Director Travis Odom.

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