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Hope City Board

By submitted, 03/27/18 9:57 PM

The Hope City Board held their final meeting of March on Tuesday March 27th. The meeting opened with Beckie Moore of the Chamber of Commerce showing pictures of downtown which are part of the application for Hope to participate in the Arkansas Downtown Network. The board approved a resolution approving the application. Mayor Steve Montgomery offered kudos to downtown merchants such as Bob Erwin, Steve Atchley, and the Hope Downtown Network.
The board looked at rezoning a piece of property located at the corner of East 4th and South Hazel. The zoning change is being sought for the purpose of providing parking for the new Farmers Bank building. The rezoning will be changed from R-2 Medium Density Residential to C-2 Highway Commercial. The board approved the change by adopting an ordinance
The board approved an ordinance to waive bids on the landfill baler. The baler needs a new belt and the only source for that belt is the baler’s manufacturer, Hustler Conveyor Company. The cost for the belt is $36,020 and the installation would cost $17, 025 by Hustler’s vendor Mainstream, Inc. Total cost would be $53,045. The board has $63,000 in the 2018 sanitation budget for the work.
The board looked at the architect’s contract for the proposed Downtown Pavilion. Clint Bailey will serve as the architect and his compensation will be about 6% of the total cost. A rendering will be presented at the April 3rd city board meeting. Plans are to remove the concrete at the site between April 15th and 30th. The board approved the contract.
The board approved a bid from Roadside, Inc. of Auburn, Alabama for vegetation management for this year. The company submitted the low bid of $18,000.
The board looked at some changes on code enforcement procedures. Assistant City Manager J.R. Wilson explained the city staff believes it is time to begin issuing citations for code enforcement infractions. This would be for property owners who live here. The city would not be able to cite absentee owners as the city would have no jurisdiction over them. The board approved the issuance of citations.
The board looked at a policy concerning leasing the airport for weddings. Paul Henley submitted a proposed policy for such use. The proposal would include 2 city employees to move the 7 planes out of the hanger, secure them on the tarmac, and then bring them back in. City personnel would be on site during set up with a 10 hour maximum. The estimated cost for the staff would be $360. The recommended charge to rent the hanger would be $750 a day with a non-refundable deposit of $200. The board suggested that at least a 24 hour cancellation policy be added. The board approved the policy and price.
Prior to the City Manager’s report, the board discussed the petition submitted requesting a referendum on changing the city form of government from city board/city manager to elected Mayor/city council. Mayor Montgomery noted the city had visited with Election Commissioner Cindy Newsome and she noted it could be held as part of a countywide run off with no cost to the city. If a special election were to be held she suggested the second Tuesday of the month. The Mayor noted there is no guarantee there will be a runoff. The Mayor said he thinks it should be a stand-alone election. The board’s choices were either June 19th or the second Tuesday in July. Kiffenea Talley asked if the.Municipal League could do a town hall meeting on the merits of each form of government. City Manager Catherine Cook said she could check. Mayor Steve Montgomery then read a proclamation setting the election for July 10th.
Under the City Manager’s report, Catherine Cook lauded the fire department on their efforts at fighting the Family Dollar fire. She noted the department received mutual aid from Perrytown and Southeast. The call came in at 9:20am and the department was there at 9:21am.
Cook noted several local residents attended a meeting on being ready for economic development visits. She also said EDC President Steve Harris will be at the next meeting to give an update on economic development efforts.
Cook noted the Hope Beautification Committee is anxious for the city to resume work on reworking the flower bed at Third and Walnut. Beautification Chairman Steve Atchley said they want as many local bids on the redevelopment of the flower bed as possible. Atchley said they want the public to know they’re working to make Hope more attractive. He also noted the will name a “yard of the week” and maybe a “business yard of the week”.
Director Reginald Easter made some suggestions for making the parks more user-friendly for youngsters. The meeting them adjourned.