The Hope City Board met Tuesday September 19th. This was the board’s second meeting of the month.
The board looked at an ordinance setting general millage rates for 2020. The ordinance would set the city’s millage rate as the same as last year. The 5 mills on real and personal property raised $427,358 last year. The quorum court will act upon the measure in November. The ordinance passed.
The board considered an ordinance to set the Firemen’s Pension property tax rate at 1 mill. The amount is unchanged from last year. Last year the millage raised $83,631. This affects former firemen hired before 1983 and their widows. The ordinance passed.
The board discussed the placement of the new bronze statues at Pavilion Park. The statues were donated by Farmers Bank. The recommendation of the Pavilion Park Committee is to place the artwork about 7 to 10 feet south of the Second Street sidewalk and about 15 to 35 feet west of the east alley drive with minor adjustments being made to accommodate irrigation. Jodi Coffee of the Farmers Market noted she disagreed with the placement being recommended by the committee. She said she would like the statues be placed somewhere else downtown but it was her understanding Farmers Bank had specified the statues be placed in Pavilion Park. Coffee also expressed concern that the Farmers Market vendors are hoping for more concreted area in Pavilion Park. Dr. Trevor Coffee asked what had happened to the proposed plaque naming those who donated the property. Board member Mark Ross said the board had discussed that and the Mayor noted it should be a priority. Board member Kiffenea Talley noted if the Pavilion Park Committee is more permanent than originally planned then those meetings should be publicized. The board voted to approve the placement recommend by the Pavilion Park Committee with Dr. Trevor Coffee voting against the.placement.
City Manager Catherine Cook gave an update in the city rail spur which is almost finished. She said the Fire Department vent system is complete and she would like the board to see it. She noted the street program is mostly finished. Cook said there remains some paving to be done at Northside Park. She also noted the park crews are working to prepare the sites for the new playground equipment at Northside and Fair Park. Cook noted she is also working on new signs for Northside Park and also on signs for Pavilion Park downtown.
Under citizens requests, Bob Erwin thanked Hope Water & Light for painting several light poles. Cook also noted a contractor is coming to look at the roof on city hall and will be helped by Hope Water and Light. Vice-Mayor Don Still said he would like to see what the cost would be to replace the tile with metal. Cook said she would get a price. She said should the roof be fixed right this time, it shouldn’t have any problems during the lifetime of anyone at the meeting. Cook said whatever work is done, probably much of the decking will have to be replaced.
Allen Flowers spoke under citizens requests. He noted Hope is changing and will continue to change. He advocated the establishment of a land bank. He said this would ease the confusion of who owns property. Flowers said 60 to 70% of the disposable income leaves Hope. He said new ideas and new housing are needed.
Vice-Mayor Don Still asked about landfill drainage and Catherine Cook updated the board on this issue. This included comments from Assistant City Manager J. R. Wilson in what’s been done and what can be done to scour the leachate lines. Cook said digging down inside the line is a last resort. Board member Mark Ross asked if we go the scouring route and it doesn’t work will the pumps still be under warranty. Wilson said a pump problem has pretty much been ruled out.
Board member Kiffenea Talley asked that residents take down their yard sale signs. The meeting then adjourned.