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Hope City Board Meeting 4/18/17

By Donna Potter, 04/19/17 7:19 AM

HOPE – The Hope City Board met Tuesday April 18th for their regular session.

The meeting opened with a request from the Hope Evening Lions to use the old State Police headquarters located on Highway 67 East. President Richard Wade talked to the Board about using the facility for a community resource building that would be stocked with a food pantry, personal necessities and even computers for use by the community. There would be several partners including Rural Convoy and Word of Grace Church. Wade stated that if they get the building they will immediately go to work on renovations. Lion John Collier offered a comment on liability coverage for the Lions.

Jodi Coffee spoke on behalf of the Farmers Market. She said the Farmers Market would like a Memorandum of Agreement and wanted to talk about groundbreaking. City Manager Catherine Cook noted that the City can’t start on the project until they get the grants they are applying for. Coffee noted they are working with Architect Clint Bailey. Cook noted that they have applied for one grant and are working on the application for another. There was concern over paying $3,000 for the design services without the site being set. The City has applied for a SWEPCO grant for approximately $30,000 and the City is working on an outdoor recreation grant which is a 50% matching grant. Neither will be announced until at least December. The Board also heard from Debra Bolding of the Nashville Farmers Market concerning the design efforts and the importance of showing the public that work is progressing on the Farmers Marker. It was asked if the design was “site specific” and Bailey said “no”. John Akin asked about City funding and Cook noted that most of the City funding would be “in-kind”. The City would pay the fees to Bailey. Dan Rohrbaugh asked how many people the Farmers Market has brought on over five years. Coffee answered “hundreds”. Rohrbaugh said “thousands” and it was pointed out that the Farmers Market draws people as opposed to the flower bed on East Third Street that the City is discussing refurbishing. The Board voted to table the matter.

The Board looked at a request for the 4-H Shooting Sports Club to have the electricity turned back on at the Dyke Springs Archery facility on Rocky Mound Road. The Board voted to develop an agreement on the property with the Shooting Sports Club.

Next, the Board considered a waive-bid ordinance on the $12,000 that the Board approved during the last meeting for the Third and Walnut Street flowerbed. Steve Atchley said the Hope Downtown Network had discussed taking on the project. Blake Montgomery suggested setting a special budget for downtown projects. Mayor Steve Montgomery said such a budget makes sense for 2018. The Board took no action on the waive-bid ordinance.

The Board looked at bids for City Hall lawn service. The lowest bid was from Pecas Lawn Care of Magnolia; the Board accepted their bid.

The Board then discussed adding a signer to the City checks. Catherine Cook and Debbie Hall are the only signers now. The Board approved adding Police Chief J.R. Wilson.

The Board approved the Police Department applying for the STEP grant, which is “Selective Traffic Enforcement Program”. The grant would be for $27,155. Of that, $10,164 would be for DWI enforcement, $10,345 would be for seat belt enforcement, $3,146 for speeding and $3,500 for child seats. The grant application was approved.

Under the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook about the City-Wide Cleanup being set for this coming Saturday, unless lightning is present.

Under Citizen’s Requests, Eddie Garcia talked about a proposed Latino Heritage Museum. Porfirio Gutierrez spoke about the Museum and about the Cinco de Mayo Festival set for May 6th, at the Clinton Birthplace. Karen Smith asked about when the City pool will be opened and asked if the swim team could help. Hazel Simpson asked if the Northside Park gates could be closed at 9:00pm during the summer and if Police patrols could be increased. She also suggested that only one gate be opened. Director Reginald Easter said that he felt that closing one gate would present problems. The park currently closes at 11:00pm. Mayor Montgomery suggested that they look at closing the park at 9:00pm. Dr. Coffee noted that the Arkansas Dental Association will have their Free Dental Clinic  on the 27th and 28th in Jonesboro.

The meeting was then adjourned.