Hope City Board

The Hope City Board met Tuesday November 6th for their first meeting of November.  Reginald Easter, Dr .Trevor Coffee, and Don Hall were absent.

Hope Mayor Steve Montgomery welcomed members of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Class.

The board considered and approved three resolutions.  The first authorized the city to apply for an Arkansas Economic Development Commission grant.  The board approved a resolution designating Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District as grant administrator.   The board then approved a fair housing resolution.

The board had two proposed ordinances on the agenda. One dealt with setting the city’s general millage and the other would set the firemen’s pension fund.  Neither could be considered as there wasn’t enough directors  at the meeting to consider ordinances.

The board heard a report on the landfill from landfill department head Mark Curtis.  Curtis said the annual budget was $400,000 and the department has five employees.  Curtis gave a power point presentation and explained the operation of the landfill.  He noted the baler turns out bales that weigh about 1,850 pounds.  Curtis noted the landfill had handled 5,806 tons of refuse this year.  Curtis said his long-term goals ate to expand the landfill building and to obtain a new baler. The current baler is 22 years old and cost $600,000. A new one is estimated to cost $750,000. There were questions about the life of the baler and the belt on the baler which is replaced about every five years. The last belt cost about$50,000.

Catherine Cook gave updates on the pavilion downtown which should be completed around Christmas.  Cook said the airport drainage project is ongoing.  Cook noted the EDA rail spur project is underway and the dirt work has started.  She noted the main switch for Union Pacific has been ordered.  Cook also noted there is about $800,000 in wastewater work underway and noted the milling on the streets is done.

Cook noted the city closed on the Kopecky house Tuesday. Jay Kopecky asked that the city name the veterans Park planned for that site for Bill Christie and Vincent Foster, Jr.

Cook talked about the city possibly changing the eligibility on city health insurance for retirees with at least 20 years of service to the city . Currently the retirees must be 55. Cook said the city could change that age requirement.  She also noted a city director had asked if the directors were eligible for city health insurance and she noted they could pursue that if the board wanted to.

Under Citizens Requests Hazel Simpson brought a Hope Star from 1951 about a successful effort that raised $3,000 for the North Side Park.  Simpson asked the board to continue it’s support.  She outlined some plans the citizens have for the park.

Vice-Mayor Don Still asked that a letter be sent to the Kiamichi Railroad on the rougjnero of the 3rd Street crossing.

The meeting then adjourned.