- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 17, 2017

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (AP) - The city of Walnut Ridge is hoping to consolidate with another city this year with the intention of growing economically and improving quality of life.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Charles Snapp said in his State of the City Address on Monday that he plans to look at consolidating with the city of Hoxie as a way to attract businesses and grow the population, KAIT-TV (https://bit.ly/2jFPay7 ) reports.

However, Hoxie’s mayor doesn’t believe the move is necessary.

Snapp said his city’s previous consolidation with College City helped increase Walnut Ridge’s franchise tax base and sales tax base. He said Walnut Ridge now has over $140,000 more from College City’s savings because of the consolidation. He said that money can be used for more projects, such as improving the drainage in the College City area of Walnut Ridge.

“The main thing is that we are making progress faster than what most people believed was possible,” Snapp said. “We still have hurdles but if we can get more people in our city, we can overcome many things.”

Hoxie Mayor Lanny Tinker sees the consolidation as unnecessary.

“Hoxie is in good shape,” Tinker said. “I do not see a need to consolidate. We, as a city, would love to be in a partnership with Walnut Ridge for economic developments, but if it means giving up our independence, then we are not interested.”

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Information from: KAIT-TV, https://www.kait8.com/

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