Hope City Board

The Hope City Board met via online meeting Tuesday for their second meeting of June. Following the prayer, pledge,and minutes the board moved on to business.

The board’s first item was to look at the proposed street program. $500,000 is budgeted. The breakdown is $45,457 for milling, $269,958 on overlay, $54,560 for drainage work,and $140,025 for miscellaneous, pipe, concrete,and gravel. Some of the streets slated for work include East 4th, McFerron, South Grady, South Cedar, Berry, and West Avenue A. A major drainage project is slated for the 1400th block of Texas Street. Being held on hold will be work on Hickory and Grady. The program was approved by the board. City Manager Catherine Cook said after the city gets their next sales tax check they expect to revisit the two streets on hold. Also there was discussion on when the streets are cleaned with the street sweeper. Board member Kiffenea Talley asked if Yerger and Spruce could get swept and Mark Ross asked about cleaning East 2nd and South Edgewood. Talley asked if some attention could be paid to the trash at Yerger Terrace. It was also explained that non-residents can’t park inside and the trash has come about after visitors started parking outside the facilities. The city manager said she would bring it to the attention of the Housing Authority.

The board looked at at a waive-bid ordinance on some work on the traffic signals on the bypass and on South Main. The lights were damaged by lightning last year. Hope Water and Light ordered the parts and has invoiced the city for $24,641.27. The materials are only available from one source and cannot be bid. The materials are in Hope and ready to be installed. The board approved the waive-bid ordinance.

The board approved an engineering agreement on the Texas Street drainage project.

The board looked at a timber proposal from FJH Timber of Hope for cutting timber at the airport property. Thinning it would be about $850,000 or to thin and clear-cut some at $950,000. The timber was planted in 1991. There was discussion and also concern that the offer was below market value. The board indicated by acclimation they would like the city manager to seek additional bids.

Under the city mamager’s report, Catherine Cook said Hope was up to 56% on census completion. She urged those who haven’t completed the census to do so. Cook also noted parts have been ordered to fix the swimming pool. She also gave an update on the plaque for Pavilion Park and on repairing the gutters on the Hub. Cook said the college can’t do a sign for Pavilion Park and she will seek info from sign companies in Texarkana. She also gave an update on the facilities opening at the parks. She said facilities are for the most part open and available for the public. Cook also said city services are continuing. She also noted she had an appraisal for 11 acres in the industrial park. This appraised at $58,000. She is sending the appraisal to the F.A.A. to see if it can be released for sale to an industrial prospect.

Kiffenea Talley raised an issue she said was a public concern. She said there is a subdivision off Shover where the streets are named Confederate, Lee, Dixie, and other Confederate names. Talley said she thought the board should consider renaming those streets. Mayor Montgomery said he believes there is a petition effort underway to rename Confederate. The board authorized the city manager to visit with the city attorney to discuss how the names could be changed.

Board member Trevor Coffee suggested the city turn some attention to the bathroom at the Hub. Coffee said there were no trash bags and other issues. Cook said they may want to change the combination on the bathroom door.

Mayor Montgomery revisited the gates and restrictions on the housing authority facilities. No action was taken. The Mayor also mentioned the COVID-19 testing at the college from 9am to 2pm Saturday.

Board member Reginald Easter asked about the downed tree limbs at North Side Park. Cook said she’d check on that. The meeting then adjourned.