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Hope City Board Meeting

By Staff, 09/20/17 2:29 PM
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The Hope City Board met Tuesday September 19th for their second meeting of the month. Kiffenea Talley asked for a couple of corrections to the minutes before they were adopted.
George Smith, Executive Director of the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council made a presentation concerning a proposed “arts park”. The proposal concerns making a city parking lot downtown on Divison an arts park and he said there would be no loss of parking. Smith said the organization would recruit local citizens and entities as well as art teachers from several counties. It would involve artwork on the sidewalk and the parking spaces as well. Smith said he’d gotten the idea from an alley in Europe. Smith asked that the city power wash the area and he has several artists ready to start. Smith also asked for the city to stripe the rail at the Cairo-Fulton Depot. The board voted to allow the arts council to move forward on the arts park. 
The board looked at a proposal for monitoring groundwater at the landfill. Dan McCullough of SCS Engineers spoke to the board about the proposal. There appears to be some groundwater issues from the old part of the Hope Landfill. ADEQ wanted some monitoring wells installed and SCS is proposing a plan that would involve up to 20 small borings. The proposal would cost up to $34,000. The board voted to accept the proposal from SCS. 
The board heard from Police Chief J.R. Wilson on accepting a $7,000 grant from the Arkansas State Police. The board voted to accept the grant. 
Chief Wilson explained a “Selective Traffic Enforcement Program” or “STEP” grant the city has been awarded. The city would get approximately $25,000. $1,500 would go towards child safety seats and the rest would go towards speeding, DWI, and seat belt enforcement. The board voted to accept the grant.
The board looked at a requested zoning change on Beech Street. The owner wants to rezone so a manufactured home can be replaced. The zoning of the property doesn’t allow for manufactured homes as it is now R-2. The board approved an ordinance changing the zoning to R-5.
The board looked at a request to change the zoning at the old skating rink from I-2 (light industrial) to C-2 (highway commercial). The board looked at some issues on whether to pave the parking lot. Samuel Turner, the owner, was present and has indicated he plans to put in a 100 space flea market. Turner indicated he has about 25 booths rented. The board approved the ordinance approving the rezoning. 
Under the City Manager’s report, Catherine Cook said the landfill expansion is finished except for a few minor items. She noted the new cell is expected to last 40 years. 
Cook gave a report on the Texas Eagle Marketing and Performance organization (TEMPO) meeting she attended in St. Louis. She reported the Texas Eagle, the train that serves Hope, has been increasing in passengers. She also noted boardings of the train in Hope are growing.
Cook introduced new Street Superintendent Tim Blue. 
Cook also talked about a grant available for $2,500 for city beautification from the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show. The board agreed by acclamation to allow the city to apply for the grant.
John Odom spoke about 18th Street and gave the Mayor what appears to be a petition about the street. Odom said he and other residents wish to see the street kept clear. Police Chief J.R Wilson noted they had seen the street being blocked during JV games and the school had been informed the street can only be blocked on Varsity home game nights. Odom said he believes the school should be responsible for finding another place to park the buses. It was agreed to have the Police Chief meet with school officials to determine what can be done. 
Hazel Simpson thanked the board and officials for putting the marker at the North SIde Park. She also asked about having some work on her street.
John Akin asked about taxes on prepared food. The meeting then adjourned.
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