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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith , 02/19/19 9:33 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday February 19th. The board opened with a request from Mike Lockhart of the Hempstead County 4H Shooting Club. He asked to alter the lease on the Dyke Springs Archery Range on Rocky Mount Road. The club wants to build a covered shooting area and to extend the lease out to 50 years. The city has owned the 40 acre plot since 1903. The current lease is a five year lease. Lockhart says a donor wants to donate.materials for a covered shooting range and has had experience where he’s donated items to a club on leased land and the club lost their lease. Lockhart asked for 50 years. The board voted to extend the current lease to 2027 with an option for five more years. The board voted to allow the club to construct a covered shooting area about 20 feet by 40 feet. Vice-Mayor Don Still noted the archery range is a tourist draw and Lockhart noted they’ve had shooters from as far away as El Dorado and Jonesboro.
The board looked at a request from Daniel Bramlett who asked permission to remove and use for his personal use the cabinets, kitchen,and hallway in the Kopecky house. City Attorney Joe Short said they would have to declare the items surplus and take bids. There was concern about removing the items considering the state of the house’s foundation. The board looked at a picture of some of the cabinets. No action was taken.
The board looked at a “Memorandum of Understanding” between the Arkansas Economic Development Institute and the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation. AEDI has submitted a proposal for $20,000 for conducting a community survey, holding meetings,and developing and writing a strategic plan for the county. Hope Water and Light has put $10,000 towards the proposal and the EDC is committed for $5,000. Mayor Steve Montgomery asked that the city contribute the remaining $5,000. Dr. Linda Clark moved the city be responsible for the remaining $5,000. The board approved that motion. Mayor Montgomery said they’ve received about 450 surveys and their aim is to get 1,000. John Akin asked from the audience about getting a hard copy and City Manager Catherine Cook noted they have hard copies at City Hall and Mark Ross noted the Chamber has hard copies. Mayor Montgomery noted so far the surveys submitted have come from primarily higher earning white citizens. Mayor Montgomery noted they hope to have a wide variety of citizens to take the survey.
The board approved an ordinance that would govern the construction, installation, maintenance, and removal of small wireless communication facilities in the city right of ways.
The board accepted a low bid of $328.50 per month for the City Hall lawn mowing from Jeremy Stroud.
The board looked at five year bids for hay production at the 708 acres at the airport. The board approved the high bid of $8 per round bales from Revel Kidd.
The board looked at photos of the Kopecky house. Most of the pictures showed settling and cracking of the brick as well as sections in the house where there are leaks in the ceiling. Vice-Mayor Don Still said the house probably could have been saved if something had been done 30 years ago. The Vice-Mayor says he is looking forward to getting the house down, getting a parking parking lot built, and getting the parking for the Clinton Birthplace parking off Division Street. Still said 10,000 people on average visit the Clinton Birthplace every year. He also said hopefully a nice sidewalk can link downtown to the Birthplace. The board voted to condemn the house and not declare anything surplus but to demolish it as planned.
City Manager Catherine Cook gave an update on the construction of the downtown pavilion. She noted some concrete work remains and that they hope to steer the drainage to a city storm drain. Cook also talked about some signage and the incorporation of some of the old Cox Drug/Graves brick into the brickwork. Cook gave an update on the airport drainage project and the rail spur projects. She said Cleve Batt is working diligently on the spur. Mark Silvey asked about addressing concerns about the parking pad at the pavilion for the Farmers Market. Mayor Montgomery said that probably can’t be changed due to the grant requirements. Silvey was asking about expansion of the green space and also some concerns about the parking for vendors and the need for a larger space for parking. The Mayor says the steering committee has agreed to leave things as they are and that vendors will have to pull partially under the pavilion. Vice-Mayor Still says he’s visited with the entity which gave the city the grant and it would not be good to change at this point.
Vice-Mayor Still thanked the city for fixing the rough spits on 6th. Director Mark Ross noted the Kiamichi crossing at Avenue C needs work and Tim Blue says they are working with Kiamichi on getting it fixed. The meeting then adjourned .