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Hope City Board

By Staff, 06/15/21 8:18 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday at the Fair Park Community Center for their second meeting of June.  After the approval of the minutes, the board looked at a draft of a proposed policy concerning the placement of speed bumps.  The proposed policy would require a written request to the City Manager’s office.  The draft would require a 1 week traffic study and a written report of the study.  Should the board wish to consider such a request, a public hearing would be scheduled and a sign posted at the location where the speed bumps are requested.  Discussion ensued such as how permanent the speed bumps would be and what procedures were undertaken when the speed bumps were installed at Main and Division.  Topics included whether signs would be put up to warn motorists about the speed bumps and the permanence of such strips.  The board approved the draft policy.  It is expected a public hearing will be scheduled for 7th Street.  The board also voted to extend the speed bumps on Caney Creek Drive.

The board looked at fees and charges for city facilities.  They range from $200 per day for the Coliseum and $250 for the rodeo arena down to $25 per half day for the HUB.  Some facilities have refundable damage deposits.  A possible 2 hour rate for the Community Center was discussed for $25.  The need for security at some facilities was discussed.  Also it was discussed how much the rodeo arena is used for no fee.  Dr. Linda Clark asked about liability in the rodeo arena.  City Attorney Randy Wright noted the city has immunity unless they are grossly negligent.  Also discussed was the use of the rodeo arena for recreational use as opposed organized group events.  The board also discussed asking some of the users of the arena their opinions about regulating the access and use of the arena.  Mayor Don Still suggested tabling the arena issue until some of the arena users could be queried.  The board moved on to discussing the proposed two hour rate for the North Side and Fair Park Community Centers.  They also looked at the rates for the newly renovated log but.  Mayor Still asked about the people using the HUB on Saturdays for garage sales.  Cook noted the Civitan Club recently reserved it for their garage sale.  Also, car washes at the HUB were discussed.   Set-up rates and pool rates were also examined.  Cook asked if the board wants to hear requests to waive charges.  City Attorney Wright suggested not waiving charges under any circumstances.  Also the board discussed entities that might want a discount because they have standing reservations.  No action was taken.

City Manager Cook introduced the new street superintendent, Kenneth Harvel.  Harvel has served in that capacity in the past and the board was happy to welcome him back.

Cook discussed the plans for the Street Scape program and noted ArDOT is ready to look at them.  She also said she had a quote on concrete for the HUB sign.  She noted planning is underway for the fireworks show at the Airport on July 3rd.  She also talked about some government funds that are coming and how they can be used such as for infrastructure, broadband, sewer, and some essential worker funding.  Cook says she anticipates about$1.9 million dollars through these funds.

Board member Dr. Linda Clark asked about COVID numbers and Cook noted they are up.  She noted Hempstead County is next to last in the state in terms of vaccinations.  She noted this percentage is in the 20’s.  She also noted how a couple of firefighters were recently exposed to COVID and this meant the department had to deal with lost time.  Swimming pool COVID guidelines were discussed.  Incentives for city employees to get vaccinated were discussed.  Dr. Clark suggested enacting a meeting to discuss ways to encourage more vaccinations.

Mayor Still asked about going to City Hall for board meetings.  Board member Mark Ross said Dr. Goins said there wouldn’t be a big risk for the board members themselves but they might want to exclude an audience.  The board decided to continue meeting in July in the Community Center.

Board member Mark Ross said he wished to commend Parks Director Summer Powell in getting bigger crowds at the pool.  Ross also asked the street superintendent to check the viability on the rear entrance to Fair Park.  The meeting then adjourned.