Hope City Board

By Staff, 02/2/21 8:23 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their first meeting of February. The meeting was held in the Fair Park Community Center with board member Dr. Linda Clark joining online.

The first item of business was a hay lease for the airport property. There were five bids received that were opened January 28th. The board acctepted the high bid of Rustin Kidd for $4,750 per year for five years.

The board considered allowing the city to apply for a Local Law Enforcement Block Grant for $2,550. Police Chief J.R. Wilson said if the board concurs, they will submit the application to the City Manager for her signature. There is no match for the grant. It would be used for a computer for a police car. The Board approved the application.

The board looked at a waive bid ordinance to repair a box culvert on Patmos Road. The city learned of the failure of this culvert on January 12th from the Arkansas Department of Transporation and Patmos Roadhas been closed to through traffic since then from Bill Clinton Drive to 28th Street. Street Superintendent Tim Blue further briefed the board on the situation. Spears Engineering has developed a conceptual design and Bobo and Bain can start on the project immediately if the board approved the waive-bid ordinance. The estimated cost of repair is anticipated at $85,800. Glen Spears spoke and further explained the situation. The waive-bid ordinance was necessary because anything over $20,000 in this situation had to be bid. There was considerable discussion on the matter. The ordinance was approved by the board.

The City Manager’s Report was the last agenda item. Catherine Cook thanked the board for their efforts on the Patmos Road situation. Cook then briefed the board on some info on the City Hall roof which is currently being renovated. She noted the architect suggested putting up “snow guards” on the gutters on the roof renovation. She noted they have lost sections of the gutters twice in 20 years from ice and snow. The proposed cost was approximately $17,000. This would be in addition to the $298,000 budgeted for the extensive roof renovation. The board voted to install the snow guards. Cook also detailed a derailment on the city rail spur in the industrial park but she noted Tim Blue and his crew got it fixed. Mayor Don Still asked if the city would start “charting” the derailments so the locations of the derailments can be documented. Cook also noted the engineer for the landfill is coming this week and she expects work on the project will need to be suspended due to the rain and finished after it dries out. Cook said the city is waiting on Windstream to move utilities on 6th Street. She said Windstream is communicating with the city and preparing plans for moving their utilities. Cook also noted she wants to bring up these utility delays at the next Municipal League meeting and to learn if other cities are experiencing problems with utilities to move for funded city projects. Cook said if the city just “rips it up” they would be in trouble.

Cook also told the board of a state legislator from Walnut Ridge is trying to run a bill which would make it easier to get package alcohol sales on the ballot. She noted the bill failed to get out of committee but she said it will be tweaked and the representative will try again. Cook also, by request, gave an update on the city’s efforts at matching “paver” brick for the street scape program. She also detailed some possible grant funding which may materialize for the airport and she talked about what the money would be used for on the drainage project at the airport. Cook also noted there are some other general grant opportunities that may be possible in the future and she may bring them to the board.

Following the City Manager’s report, board member Reggie Easter asked about lighting and a press box at North Side Park. Easter also noted a tree was down at the soccer field. Board member Trevor Coffee asked about a sign at the Hub and Cook noted she is working on that. Board member Mark Ross asked about the possibility of baseball, softball, and tournaments at Fair Park. Cook noted they are working with the Baseball Assosication. Ross suggested the city visit with the other cities who are having tournaments. Board member Trevor Coffee asked about seeing sanitation numbers and Cook noted Assistant City Manager J.R. Wilson should have numbers at the next meeting. Cook also said plans are for the city to start on maintenance on the Fair Park pool when possible and it is believed the pool will be operational this year pending whatever the COVID situation will allow. Mayor Don Still commended the city employees who are out working in the cold.

There were no citizens requests and the meeting adjourned.