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TEXARKANA, Ark. — A proposed new pay plan for police and firefighters is off the agenda for today's meeting of the city Board of Directors.

An ordinance tying police and firefighter pay increases to the city's year-by-year financial status will be tabled until the Board's meeting on Sept. 3, City Clerk Heather Soyars said in an email.

Some Board members will not attend today's meeting, so a final reading and possible vote on the measure were postponed until all can "have their voices heard," City Manager Kenny Haskin said.

The plan is meant to find an agreeable solution after more than 20 years of dispute over a pair of quarter-cent sales taxes enacted to keep Arkansas-side police and firefighter salaries commensurate with those in Texarkana, Texas.

Members of the Board and Haskin have expressed urgency to come to an agreement in light of a lawsuit that could rule the sales taxes unconstitutional, potentially costing the city millions of dollars a year in revenue.

Left on the agenda is a public hearing and vote on granting the Police Department permission to apply for a federal law enforcement grant called the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant.

If awarded the grant, the Police Department would get about 67% of the funds, $10,941, and the Miller County Sheriff's Office would get the remainder, $5,389. The police plan to use the funds to buy six laptop computers.

The agenda includes a citizen communication time during which members of the public may address the Board on any topic for up to five minutes each.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at City Hall, 216 Walnut St.

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