The Hope City Board opened their second meeting of December by approving a work order with Garver Engineers for the streetscape program between downtown and the Clinton Birthplace. The board did not have to go through formal procurement because Garver had done a Federal procurement project at the airport in 2017.
The board approved bids for demolition of three condemned properties. They are at 623 North Elm, 502 North Hazel,and 100 North Washington. The board accepted a low bid of $15,500 from Hart Construction of Texas.
The board discussed a census count committe. Catherine Cook noted the city is working to educate people on the census. She noted the city plans to have a billboard on Hervey, to do a lot of social media, and to have a computer set up at City Hall for citizens to use. Cook noted Hempstead County has traditionally been under counted. She also said much of the census will be online. Board member Mark Ross asked if residents of the Hope Housing Authority can be helped with this. Cook also noted 30% of the county residents do not have internet.
The board looked at a revised budget. The revised budget was $11,210,995. Catherine Cook noted the city has 102 employees and the budget includes raises funded out of reserves.
The board looked at capital outlays proposed for 2020. These included $125,000 for repair to the City Hall roof. Cook noted the cost on the police department expansion was $170,000. She noted “turn out” gear is planned for the fire department for$36,000. The Parks Department is proposing three new mowers and a 25 x 40 maintenance building for Park equipment. The plans are for a new building behind the community center. Cook said there are also plans for a wooden fence around the Girl Scout Log. She said this will keep motorists from stirring up mud in front of the hut and also offer kids attending events at the log hut a safe play area. Also, the park would like to go back to using radios for staff communication. There was also a proposal for a fall surface for the playground in the east end/front of Fair Park. The park budget would also include improvements to the North Side Park bathrooms and concession stand. Also there was funding for working on the swimming pool and lighting at Kelly Fields. Money is also budgeted for signage at “The Hub”. Cook said they have talked to UAHT for producing the sign. Board member Trevor Coffee asked how many mowers are operational and it was noted three are usable and the park needs five. Also, the removal of the old Boy Scout building is budgeted.
The board discussed police and sanitation outlays. Mark Ross asked about the safety categories for the previous year. The board discussed public works numbers.
The board discussed the proposed addition of a worker downtown. Cook noted they are discussing getting someone with landscape experience.
The board passed the ordinance authorizing the implementation of the 2020 budget.
Under the City Manager’s report, Catherine Cook went through the holidays and noted the first board meeting of the new year is January 7th.
Under Citizens Requests, Jay Kopecky asked for the status on the Veterans Park next to the Clinton Birthplace. Vice-Mayor Don Still noted when the Atwood’s property changes hands the National Park Service will begin designing the area. Still said the city will own the area where the Veterans Park is. He said the National Park Service will welcome Kopecky’s thoughts.
Mayor Steve Montgomery noted the city needs to remember the plaque at the Hub citing the Graves’ contribution. The meeting then adjourned.