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Hope City Board

By Mark Keith, 11/1/22 8:33 PM

The Hope City Board met Tuesday for their first meeting of November. Following the prayer, pledge,and approval of the minutes, the board moved into agenda items.

The board discussed employee bonuses.  The discussion was influenced in light of inflation.  The board looked at the numbers for $1,000 and $2,000 bonuses.  Cook noted this could be in place of or in addition to Christmas bonuses.  $1,000 bonuses would cost about $130,000 or $2,000 about $220,000.  Cook also explained how any bonuses could be funded.  Board member Steve Montgomery asked about using federal stimulus funds and it was explained those couldn’t be used.  Mayor Still talked about much they appreciate the efforts of city employees.  Discussion ensued.  Board member Mark Ross moved they give a bonus of $2,250 for full-time employees and $1,125 for part-time employees.  That motion died for lack of a second.  Ross then moved they pay bonuses of $2,500 and $1,250 and this passed.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook noted the Pavilion Park sign is up and lighted at night.  She credited Assistant City Manager J.R.Wilson for this project’s completion.  Cook gave an update on the pocket park and is cautiously optimistic the park will be finished by the end of the year.  Cook also noted an Eagle Scout program going at the pocket park and that New Millennium is providing materials for the Eagle program.  Board member Mark Ross noted a business owner had asked why an artist rendering of the park hasn’t been put up at the park.  Ross said he went back and found an artist rendering and wondered about changes.  Cook noted the board had approved some changes from the artist rendering.  Access for wheelchair-bound persons was discussed.  Cook said the contractor should be starting any time on 6th.  The Street Scape was discussed.  Cook said a grant was approved for the Hope Airport from Arkansas Aeronautics.  She noted sanitation recently had a day when two trucks were down but sanitation worked extra hard to keep service up.

Mayor Still says there has been a lot of requests for music at the Hub.  He noted Klipsch will be providing speakers there.  He noted that should be done before the ice skating rink opens.

The board went into executive session at 7:27pm.  The board reconvened at 8:31pm.  Mayor Still said they discussed the city manager’s job.  The board voted to hire Assistant City Manager J.R. Wilson as interim city manager when Catherine Cook retires at the end of the year.  He will serve while the search for a permanent replacement is underway. The meeting then adjourned.