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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith, 01/19/22 1:49 AM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday January 18th for their second meeting of the year. The meeting was attended by board members both virtually and in-person.

The board first looked at a request from the Hope Water & Light Commission to, in some way, obtain $200,000 for “the equivalent of premium pay” for the Water and Light employees.  The method the city has proposed would be a  “one-time $200,000 reduction in the HW&L transfer”.   Hope Water & Light transfers $575,000 annually to the city.  The proposal would pay Water & Light employees the same amount of premium pay that was awarded by the board to city employees.  City Manager Catherine Cook noted this proposed method would be much less complicated than awarding such funds through a sub-grant.  Catherine Cook and Charlotte Bradley of Hope Water & Light answered questions from the board on the proposal.  The board approved the request from Hope Water and Light.  Bradley thanked the city board and the city manager.

The board went into executive session at 7:23pm to discuss possible appointments to several boards and commissions.  The board reconvened in public session at 7:29 on.  The board voted to reappoint Judy Davis to a 5 year term on the Water & Light Commission.  Milko Smith and City Director Trevor Coffee were reappointed to the Hope Tourism Commission.  Charlton Luker was appointed to the Tourism Commission to replace Babu Patel.

Under the city Manager’s report, Catherine Cook noted a fire on 7th Street damaged 11 panels if the new Fair Park fence.  She also asked for premium pay of $2,500 for the city attorney and city clerk.  Cook noted the city has been notified they have been approved a $31,000 park grant for the pocket park on 2nd Street.  Cook said she thinks they can get most of the park done with that with the idea the proposed restrooms will be done later.  Mark Ross said he would be for attempting to find some more funds to work on those bathrooms as the other public bathrooms downtown are too far away for older people to have to walk to.  Cook also noted the 6th Street project was supposed to be bid but she didn’t know if it had been.  She said the street scape project is waiting on the Kiamichi railroad working out the pedestrian crossing.  Cook also says she hopes to eventually apply for a grant for a street scape program on Division to Hervey.  Cook noted 8 employees were out due to COVID exposure and 5 other employees were out with other illnesses.

Under citizens requests, Hazel Simpson asked if the areas on Third and Greenwood she had complained about had been considered.  Mayor Still noted they had been looked at but nothing had been done because of the number of city employees out with illnesses.  Simpson said Director Mark Ross has offered to help.  He noted he has spoken to Boy Scout leaders about the scouts helping.  The meeting then adjourned.