Hope City Board

By Staff, 07/20/21 8:12 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their regular bi-monthly meeting.  The first order of business was to recess the board meeting and convene a public hearing on the proposed issuance of bonds for Hope Water & Light.  The proposal was for $10 million dollars in bonds to fund acquiring, constructing, and equipping facilities and apparatus for a fiber optics communications system.  This will provide voice, broadband and data services.  Jason Holzclaw of Stephens Inc. said they could have sold $13 million in bonds.  The interest rate will be 2.8%.  The board approved the ordinance approving the bond sale.

The board considered a rezoning from C-4 Office Commercial to C-3 General Retail to allow a childcare) learning center at 1404 South Main.  The rezoning was approved.

The board discussed the possible use of ARPA (American Rescue Plan) funds.  It is expected the city could get $1.98 million dollars from this program.  Areas these funds may used in include premium pay (for eligible workers performing essential work during COVID), water infrastructure, sewer infrastructure, and broadband.   Discussion ensued but no action was taken.  Some of the projects suggested included resurfacing the landfill road, wastewater needs, and pay for the city workers who have given so much during the pandemic.

The board discussed some of the ideas that came out of the Outdoor Recreation Grant Public Hearing held June 29th.  Parks and Recreation Director Summer Powell joined Cook in discussing the suggestions gathered during the public hearing.  She noted one thing suggested, a new or updated swimming pool, isn’t an eligible project for this grant.  Other suggestions included working on ballfield drainage, ballfield lighting, updated basketball and tennis courts, a pocket park downtown, and walking trails.  Cook said they also plan to visit with the Tourism Commission.  She said she expects to have some projects in mind at the next meeting for the board to consider in reference to pursuing a grant.  Cook said the board should think about will they pursue a grant and if the city has matching funds.  She said one of these long-term goals could be looking at a community center/indoor pool.  Board member Kiffenea Talley said she wants to know more about splash pads.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook said Saturday is city-wide clean up day. The city landfill will be open until noon Saturday and will be free for city residents.  Cook also noted the Watermelon Festival is August 5th through 7th and city crews are working on things for the festival.  Cook also noted the city overlay program will not happen before the festival.

Board member Mark Ross asked about census numbers and Cook noted they might hear something in September or October.

Board member Kiffenea Talley said she is hearing from Water and Light customers who want to know why their bills are doubled over the previous months.  Charlotte Bradley explained some of the situations in which customers might think their bill has doubled while in fact they may have an unpaid balance.

Under citizens requests, Hazel Simpson asked about the electrical capacity for the Yerger Reunion in 2022.  Cook and Mayor Don Still asked Simpson to help them learn what the electrical needs are.

Board member Mark Ross noted National Night Out will be held the night of the next meeting and suggested board members attend.  The meeting then adjourned.