(Article by Mark Keith) HOPE- The Hope City Board met Tuesday October 3rd for their first meeting of the month.
The board heard from Ruthie Langston and Amy Sweat from the Area Agency On Aging. They were asking to use the Fair Park Community Center for the Senior Citizens Center. The Senior Center needs to move from its current location downtown. The Senior Citizens need to use the building Monday through Thursday 7:30am to 1pm. The board voted to allow the Senior Center to move to the Community Center.
The board discussed letting the Hope Rockers Dance program to continue to use the Douglas-Washington Community Center at North Side Park two nights a week. It was noted Dr. Ladell Douglas and Charles Primus were originally involved with the group but it was believed they are no longer involved. The City Manager had requested Tashia Martin who is in charge of the group be present at the board meeting but she was not present. There were questions if this is a “for profit” program. The board voted to table the issue until the next meeting.
The board looked at the issue of closing 18th Street during varsity football games. City Manager Catherine Cook said the city had talked to Superintendent Bobby Hart and city staff supports keeping the street closed for up to 4 hours during the 5 regular varsity football games. The board agreed to allow the street to be closed during varsity football games. The city will also look into putting a crosswalk on 18th.
The board looked at a request to continue the lease with the State Police for 1 acre of land at the Hope Airport for the CDL license testing facility. The state is currently paying $600 per year and provides it’s own building. The board voted to approve the lease for another year.
Under the City Manager’s report the board discussed the annual City Tour of Facilities and also discussed a budget meeting in November. The board agreed to pursue the tour of facilitie for November 17th.
City Attorney Joe Short noted the city has a lien on the old Shanhouse/ Fink Building and he noted the city estimated it cost over $28,000 to clean that property after the fire. Short says Al Fink has offered to clear up that lien for $15,000. It was noted Fink is asking six figures for the property. The board voted to offer to settle for $22,000.
Beautification Committee Chairman Steve Atchley asked board to allow them to strip the Walnut and Third flower bed and decorate it and decorate the Third and Elm flower bed for Christmas. Atchley said they would try to get the department of community corrections to have a crew to strip it. He also said the committee would like to clean up the flower beds near SWS Etching. Atchley says they want to award plaque for the best decorated business and a decorated home during Christmas. The board voted to allow the beds to be cleared and to put an electric meter in for Christmas decorations. The meeting then adjourned.