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Tourism panel approves $11,500 for Kopecky house removal

By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
In a meeting that took 10 minutes longer to gather its quorum than to conduct its business, the Hope Tourism Commission quickly voted on and approved its single measure for the night, a $11,500 expenditure to remove the Kopecky House, an old two-story residential structure at 410 W. 2nd Street, from its lot adjacent to the Atwoods parking lot and the Clinton Historic Birthplace.
The special meeting’s business had already been foreshadowed by Hope City Board member Don Still two night’s ago at the Board of Director’s meeting Tuesday night, and Still himself, who also sits on the Tourism Commission, made the motion for the expenditure, based on an estimated cost given to him by Tim Blue.
As his stated goal before, Still again said, “I would love to have it down and cleared before Clinton’s visit here.” Still was referencing former President and Hope-native Bill Clinton’s April 6 return to Hope for the annual Chamber banquet that Saturday.
Commission member Juan Rivera asked if the job could be completed in time, to which Still replied, “Tim thinks he can do it in four or five days, if we can get him on it in the near term. That is what tonight’s called meeting is about.”
With Still and Rivera were Tourism Chair Sharon Caldwell and a fourth voting member, Miko Smith, which constituted a legal quorum for business. Also present were Tourism director and staff chair Paul Henley and Hope City Manager Catherine Cook.
In the small gallery were Jim Hunter and Hope hotel owner Gary Chambless.
The vote on the $11,500 was unanimous, and it was the only agenda item in the special session Thursday night.
In May 2018, Jay Kopecky, the former owner of the house as well as a strip of commercial property fronting Hervey Street, agreed to sell the two properties to the City of Hope, and the City approved the purchase for the properties for $60,000.
When the City agreed to the purchase, the general idea advocated and credited to Mayor Steve Montgomery was to remove the Kopecky House, and put in a parking lot along with a park with tables for visitors visiting the Clinton home.
At that time, Still also said he’d like to see a nice sidewalk from the property to downtown Hope.

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