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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith, 02/16/22 1:54 AM


The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their second meeting of the month.  Following the approval of the minutes the board moved into agenda items.

The first item was consideration of bids for batting cages.  Two bids were received, one for $69,100 from Barton Roofing and $172,600 from Scott Howard.  The bid tabulation needed more clarification and this new bid came in at $73,700.  After visiting with the city engineer, it was suggested to remove the electrical from the contractor and have a licensed electrician to complete the project.  This lowered the bid to $66,200.  The board accepted the Barton bid.

The board considered an agreement between the city and the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.  The contract would be for two years.  The city would pay $60,000 pet year for these services.  Steve Harris of the EDC was on hand for questions.  The agreement was approved.

The board received an update on the pocket park to be developed downtown on 2nd on the site of the Dox building.  The city requested $81,480 for the park through a state grant request but only received $31,480.  In order to comply with the limited funds, the restrooms would be removed, the foundation/dirt work would be reduced to $10,000, the electric budget to reduced $10,460, and the city would seek other funds for the $7,500 architectural/engineering fees.  City Manager Catherine Cook said they hope to get these funds from the Hope Downtown Network.  Cook also noted the bricks left from the Dox building adhering to the National Building were removed this week.  Also, they hope to use some of the tile for from the former entrance for some decoration for the benches.  Cook says there appears to be excitement about the park from both the Downtown Network and the public.  Director Dr. Linda Clark asked if restrooms could be put back in and Cook noted they could if the board wanted to and suggested a funding mechanism.  Board member Trevor Coffee suggested laying out preparations for the restrooms regardless of when they are finished.  The board voted to move forward with the plans.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Cook said she’s gotten with three companies who could do the Pavilion Park sign at the HUB.  Cook also said 6th Street should go to bid again in April.  Cook also said the board will also be looking at redistricting for the City Board Zones in March.  Also it was noted asphalt and milling bids for this year will be opened at the end of February.  Board member Kiffenea Talley  asked about lighting work at North Side Park and Cook noted one more tree needs to be removed before the improvements can be completed.  Also, the board discussed lighting at Fair Park and the need for underground lines.

Under Citizens Requests, citizen Merchel Thomas asked what the city gave Hope Water and Light in funding recently.  Mayor Don Still explained these funds were federal funds which the city could use for “premium pay” for those who have worked through the pandemic.  Thomas asked about the relationship between the city and Hope Water and Light.  Cook said Hope Water and Light is a component of the city but is operated independently.  The city board appoints the Water and Light Commission.  Thomas was confused how the city allowed Hope Water and Light to give $200,000 less to the city this year. City Attorney Randy Wright weighed in on the structure of Water and Light and how the commission was created by the legislature.

The meeting then adjourned.