Hope City Board Meeting

By Staff, 12/6/17 11:07 AM


The Hope City Board met Tuesday December 5th for their first meeting of the month.
Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery recognized board member Reginald Easter on his birthday before the minutes were considered and approved.
The board looked at health insurance rates for 2018. The Municipal Health Benefit Fund has notified the city that health insurance premiums will be going up about 10%. City Manager Catherine Cook says if the city absorbed the increase it would be about $71,000. Options include passing the 10% increase on to employees or raising the deductible from $500.to$1,200. Hope Water and Light has indicated they would like to just pass the 10% increase on to employees. The board voted to raise the deductible from $500 to $1,200.
The board looked at the proposed 2018 budget. Catherine Cook noted the budget as proposed is balanced. She noted the proposed budget is about $962,000 or 9.8% more than last year. She tempered that by noting there are several large capital improvements including airport drainage and the self-serve card reader for fuel at the airport. Also the budget would include the downtown pavilion. The proposed budget also includes a $1,000 raise for employees both full-time and part-time. It was suggested by board member Kiffenea Talley that the city eventually look at requiring cats to be licensed like dogs are. Catherine Cook noted that eventually the city will have to look at sanitation revenue. Cook noted the Chamber of Commerce has requested to continue their contract for downtown services. She also noted the audit costs are expected to be cheaper. Darrell Allen talked about some general technology proposals. The swimming pool is slated to be operated again this summer but it is suggested the pool no longer open for private parties after school starts back. The board also talked about the city railroad spur and efforts to keep it up until they can get a grant for an extensive renovation. Among the Capital Outlay proposals include a venting system and electrical work at the Central Fire Station. The downtown pavilion is in the budget because the city has been notified they have received a Recreation Grant to go towards construction. No action was taken on the budget. A vote is expected at the next meeting.
Under the City Manager’s report Catherine Cook noted the Christmas Open House and the Christmas Parade were successful. The board voted to give $100 employee Christmas bonuses.
Under Citizens Requests, Steve Atchley noted there is a problem with garage sale signs. He noted decorated flower beds had garage sale signs last weekend and he had taken them down. He also thanked the city for some painting downtown.
The meeting then adjourned.

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