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Hope City Board

By Submitted, 05/16/18 7:07 AM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday May 15th for their second meeting of the month. The board first heard from Steve Harris on Opportunity Zones. He noted Hope had four census tracts eligible for opportunity zone status and one was granted opportunity zone status. In these areas, which are typically low income areas, capital gains that are invested in these zones are tax deferred. Harris noted there are still some parts of opportunity zones that have not had regulations settled. Mayor Steve Montgomery noted not only does this zone include downtown but also includes Hazel Street as well. The Mayor asked how should they get the word out and Harris noted after the IRS rules are settled the opportunity zone can be promoted. Mayor Montgomery noted this could also positively affect Blair Logistics and City Manager Catherine Cook noted at least one motel on Highway 29 north would qualify. Hempstead County Judge Haskell Morse noted the opportunity zone also extends into the county on US 278 east and state highway 73 east.
The board discussed purchasing the Jay Kopecky house at 410 West 2nd plus another adjacent lot. The Tourism Commission has talked to Kopecky and he indiccated he is interested in selling the property for $60,000. Kopecky also is interested in there being some tribute to veterans and a plaque commemorating the former Foster home. There was also discussion about turning the property into parking and a small park. Where the funds to pay for it would come from was discussed. Vice-Mayor Don Still said there may some funds available to help. Board member Kiffenea Talley asked what it would cost to tear it down the house and owner Jay Kopecky said architectural salvage would more than pay for demolition. The board voted to buy the property.
The board voted to declare a 1998 Chevy pickup as surplus. The vehicle will be sold online.
The board agreed to apply for a grant for electronic citation software and an electronic crash system grant. The city police already have been participating in an electronic citation program. The grant would be $12,000.
The board approved the extension of a lease of some property at the airport. The state police uses it for CDL license tests. The cost would be $600 for the year.
The board considered several change orders on the Girl Scout hut at Fair Park. The change orders would be about $23,000 and if approved the budget would still be be under budget $1,200 for this year. The board approved the change orders.
Under the City Manager’s report, Catherine Cook noted the plans for the rail spur renovations have been sent to the state and approval is expected later this month. After approval the project will be bid.
Mayor Montgomery noted Train Day was successful and he noted the Downtown Network gave a presentation to the Arkansas Downtown Network earlier in the day. The Mayor noted the city will hire a part-time code enforcement officer for the summer.
Board member Kiffenea Talley asked that people please take down their yard sale signs when finished. Catherine Cook also noted the city is having problems with the public setting up yard sales in the city parking lots and she asked that the public remember those parking lots are only available by permission of the city.
Hazel Simpson asked about the mowing and weed eating at Cave Hill Cemetery. Cook noted the mowing is up for bid at the end of the month.
John Akin noted a political sign in front of the old Jumbo Burger at Hazel and Division is a hazard because it obscures part of the intersection. He asked that the police look at it. The meeting then adjourned.