Hope City Board

The Hope City Board met in regular session Tuesday April 2nd. The board made a change to the previous meeting’s minutes to reflect that Mark Ross had led the prayer at the previous meeting.

Mayor Steve Montgomery voiced his support of adding Greg Bobo to the Airport Advisory Committee. He would join current members John Watkins, Ben Gresham, Randall Ross, Joseph Kopecky, and the Mayor. Board member Kiffenea Talley asked if it would be permissable to discuss the possible appointment in executive session. City Attorney Joe Short indicated it would be permissable and the board went into executive session at 7:04 pm. The board reconvened in open session at 7:13pm. The board had a motion on the floor made by Board Member Mark Ross to approve Bobo when they went into executive session. Reggie Easter added a second and the board voted to add Bobo to the committee without opposition.

The board voted to allow the police to seek a “STOP” grant. The federal grant is authorized by the Federal Violence Against Women Act. If granted the police will receive $24,720.88 with the department providing a match of $8,847.02.

The board looked at bids on vehicle exhaust systems for both fire stations. Two bids were received, one for $64,481 from Plymovent and $54,741 without tax or $59,941.39 with tax from MagneGrip. The board looked at some material which claims the MagneGrip hoses are not as heavy and more easily suffers leaks. Fire Chief Dale Glanton talked about the two systems. He talked about pros and cons of both systems. Mayor Montgomery pointed out the difference to the city would be $300 as most of the cost will be paid by grant funds. Chief Glanton, when pressed by Director Trevor Coffee, indicated his preference was Plymovent. The board approved the Plymovent bids.

The board looked at electrical work necessary for the fire stations for the new vent system. The two bids received were from R &W from Texarkana for $16,531.22 and $16,200 from Craine’s Electric and Drywall of Springdale. City Manager Catherine Cook noted they has sought local bids but received none. The board approved the Craine’s bid.

The board considered a resignation from City Clerk Connie Lavender. Lavender has agreed to stay on as Deputy City Clerk. The board voted to accept Lavender’s resignation and to hire NaTashia Riley as City Clerk. Riley works full-time as an accountant at Hope Water and Light. The City Clerk’s position is part-time and will pay $300 per month. Everyone was appreciative of Lavender’s job performance.

Under the City Manager’s report, Catherine Cook noted the recent dry weather has allowed the rail spur and airport drainage projects to progress well. Cook also said the downtown pavilion lacks just a little work and she noted the sod is laid. She said some more concrete needs to be poured near the Second Street storm drain. Cook says some “punch list” items remain. Director Ross noted some metal on the roof needs to be fixed. Cook thanked Assistant City Manager J.R. Wilson for filling in at the last meeting. She also noted this is a big week for the town as President Clinton is coming Saturday. Cook also lauded the demolition of the Kopecky/Foster house.

Under Citizens Requests, Hazel Simpson asked about rules governing the renting of the downtown pavilion. Cook noted a proposal concerning the rental policy will be brought to the board at the next meeting. Simpson said she hopes the Yerger Reunion can use the pavilion in the period July 3rd through 6th.

Also under Citizens Requests Mike Smith of 9th Street told the board that several years ago a school bus tilted and cracked the street. He noted the street is deteriorating. He also noted speeders are traveling east on 9th and rutting his neighbor’s yard when they turn on Hilltop. Chief Wilson said they will bring their flashing speeding sign to 9th. It records traffic and they can analyze the data to determine the problems.

Board Member Trevor Coffee noted we should keep the Prescott Schools in our thoughts and Chief Wilson noted they had examined protocols for such an incident.

Board Member Reggie Easter noted with work going on on I-30 Highway 67 is more congested than usual and will be for awhile. The meeting then adjourned.