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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith, 08/3/22 1:23 AM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their first meeting of August. Following the prayer and pledge the board on to agenda items.

First up, the board looked at three projections for splash pads at three different locations.  The board is only seeking to construct one.  The estimate for Northside Park is $338,000 or $463,000 with recirculation of water.  The 6th Street location was estimated at $420,650 or $545,650 with recirculation.  At the Soccer Field on Spring Hill Road, the cost would be $316,000 or $441,000 with recirculation.  The estimates are for 5,000 square feet.  The differences in price have to do with dirt work, parking lots, fencing, sidewalks, and a restroom on 6th Street.  Parks Director Summer Chambers explained the estimates.  The city would be responsible for half the total cost with the rest paid for with a grant.  Board member Mark Ross suggested eliminating the soccer field from consideration due to safety concerns with pedestrians on Spring Hill Road.  It was noted 6th Street will have a bike lane when the renovation is complete.  Also the trail in the old rail bed was discussed because long-term plans are to extend it to the downtown area.  The 6th Street property is adjacent to the trail area.  Board member Kiffenea Talley noted her support was for Northside Park.  Citizen Mershell Thomas voiced her support to build it at Northside.  She noted it was “her plea” to put it on the Northside.  Citizen Marsha White also voiced her support for Northside.  Phillip Shaw also voiced his support for a splash pad at Northside.  Pastor Billy Williams voiced his support for Northside.  He noted the park is not just for African American people and sees a variety of children of all races using the park.  Shaw also thanked the Hope Police, Fire Department, and Pafford for their work at Northside.  Mayor Still said he would like to see it closer to downtown.  Board member Mark Ross said with spending taxpayers’ money, he feels Northside is the better choice.  Board member Dr. Linda Clark voiced her support for Northside.  Board member Ross moved the site be Northside and the board approved using Northside for the application for the grant which would fund the splash pad.  City Attorney Randy Wright read the resolution approving the grant application.

The board considered whether to have urban deer hunting this year.  The hunt usually results in a harvest of less than 10 deer.  The board voted to continue the urban deer hunt.  Board member Mark Ross urged the media to stress the need for an urban hunt.

The board voted to declare a Hewlett-Packard plotter as surplus.

The board went into executive session at 7:40pm.  They reconvened 30 minutes later.  There was no action taken.

Under the city manager’s report, Catherine Cook noted she has spoken to engineers about changes that could be made on the Street Scape project which came in over budget.  She noted additional grant money for it will not be available before next spring.  Cook said they have been pouring concrete for the pocket park downtown.  She noted work is underway getting ready for the Watermelon Festival.

Marsha White thanked the board for their efforts.

Chief J.R Wilson spoke about the “National Night Out”.  He noted the pool was open and about 400 people came out.  Hot dogs, sno cones, and drinks were served.

Board member Steve Montgomery suggested the board look at compensating board members in the future, possibly $100 per month for board members and $200 for the Mayor.  He noted it would cost just under $10,000 per year.  It was agreed this will be discussed in the future.  The meeting then adjourned