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Hope City Board

By Staff, 07/6/21 8:05 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday at the Fair Park Community Center for their first meeting of July.

The first item on the agenda was a public hearing concerning the possible placement of speed bumps on West 7th near the intersection of Caney Creek Drive.  Police Chief J.R. Wilson presented data related to traffic safety in the area.  He noted the first six months of the year showed 29 citations given on West 7th between Mockingbird and Caney Creek.  Not all were traffic citations.  The police department had speed data for 2,629 vehicles traveling West 7th west bound between May 5th and May 13th.  About 5% of the vehicles exceeded the speed limit by 10 miles per hour during that period.  At least one vehicle was clocked at 71 to 75 miles per hour.  Chief Wilson said the data showed strategically placed “traffic calming devices” may be appropriate for the street.   The public hearing was adjourned after ten minutes.  When the board meeting reconvened they voted to place the speed bump on West 7th.

The board looked at adding some streets to the street program.  The Hope Housing Authority asked the city for some paving on Oak from Lincoln to Spruce, Hopewell Loop from Oak to terminus, and Lincoln Street from Oak to terminus.  All this would cost $22, 492.69.  The board approved this paving.

The board looked at bids for new fencing for Fair Park.  Barton Roofing and Construction submitted an unusable bid.  Richardson Fence submitted a $150,256 bid and United Fence submitted a bid of $104,830.  The board accepted the United Fence bid.  The board had budgeted $116,000 for the fence.  It was also suggested the city buy a few extra panels in case the fence gets damaged.

The board looked at a request to close the street  for the Hope Hometown Open Air Market September 4th from 9am until 4pm.  They would close Elm north of 2nd to the alley at 113 South Elm.  The board approved the closure.

The board looked at a rezoning change from R-2 Medium Density Residential to C-2 Highway Commercial to allow for construction of an office building at Pond and Hervey.  The former bank building at the site would be removed.  The new building would be for the Hempstead County Farm Bureau.  The board approved an ordinance approving the change.

The board considered an ordinance to change the zoning at 616 East Hickory from R-2 to R-5 to allow Maude Bailey to tear down the current house on the property and replace it with a manufactured home.  The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the change.  The board approved the ordinance calling for the zoning change.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook gave updates on the 6th Street project and the landfill work.  She said 6th Street will go to bid in January 2022.  On the landfill, she said they are still waiting to get some answers from ADEQ.

Cook said the city thinks they had over 1,000 cars at the fireworks July 3rd at the airport.  She said they hope to have more vendors next year.  She praised the park staff, Civitan, the police, the scouts, and Pafford.  Mayor Still gave extra praise to Jerome Underwood for his extra efforts to get the the stage working after two generators failed to work.  Cook said she thought it went really well.

Cook gave an update on a parks grant meeting held recently.  It drew about 60 attendees and Cook said they got the best input they’re ever gotten.

Cook said they have been working on getting some street lights working on the east side of downtown.  These lights will be fixed the week after the Watermelon Festival.

Mayor Still said the swimming pool is getting more usage this year than in the last several years.

Board member Reginald Easter asked about the fire department.  Cook said there are some problems with the ladder truck.  She also said the department is doing more “assist” runs with Pafford.

Board member Kiffenea Talley asked about an event held at the Northside (City) Park and wondered why it hasn’t been brought to the board.  Parks Director Summer Powell said a pavilion had been rented and it turned into a much bigger event than anticipated.

Cook discussed the boundary between the city’s property and the National Park Service and the Clinton birthplace.

Cook showed the board a proposed mock-up for some proposed signage downtown.  No action was taken.

Under Citizens Requests, Carolyn Turner of East 6th spoke to the board about her neighbors not keeping their yard up to code.  Mayor Still said they would have the code enforcement officer to look at it.  She also asked the board to look at the ditch on Long Street.

Mike Malek spoke to the board and the audience about the Heritage Wall at the Depot downtown and the Arts Council wants to do another public arts projects.  Malek noted the artists will be at a public meeting July 14th 2-4:30pm at the Chamber Office.

Jay Kopecky asked about the status of the Veterans Park to be constructed adjacent to the Clinton birthplace.  Mayor Still said they had visited with Senator Boozman about this recently.  The meeting then adjourned.