Wed August 05, 2020

By Dillan Kelsey

HWL Bond Ordinance and 2020 Capital Items Discussed at Hope City Board Meeting

The Hope City Board of Directors met via Zoom Tuesday, August 4th at 7pm for their regular monthly meeting. 

Mayor Steve Montgomery called the meeting to order and was followed by the pledge of allegiance and invocation.

The minutes from their last meeting were reviewed by the board and motioned for approval and they moved to the next item of business. 

Hope Water & Light put together a $7,285,000 refunding bond issue to provide improvements for water and electrical systems, replacing the bonds of the 2015 HWL bond issue. The HWL Commission has approved the bond issue and the specifics have been worked out with the City of Hope. These are revenue bonds that will be repaid from the revenues of HWL’s system and are not general obligations of the City of Hope’s General Fund. This ordinance “Authorizes the issuance of water and electric refunding revenue bonds and a trust indenture securing the bonds. Also authorizing the sale of the bond and the execution of a bond purchase agreement prescribing other matters and declaring an emergency.” There will be a savings result of $1.35 million due to the bonds with a new selling rate of 1.92% where iy was originally at a 3.1% rate. A representative from Stephens, Inc. shared that the bonds have been received well and the ordinance was adopted by the board. 

At the beginning of the year, City Manager Catherine Cook’s request to delay the purchase of certain capital outlay items due to the COVID-19 pandemic was accepted by the board. It was shared that over the last few months, sales tax collections have begun to increase and steady out, so Cook asked the board for permission to add back the items that have been put on hold, as well as some of the Park Capital Outlay. Cook shared that they would like to spend $16,000 for a new police vehicle and she also asked to add some restroom work at the North Side Park as a priority. Milling and overlay on Hickory St. and Grady St. amounting to $124,000. The board approved Cooks requests as long as things seem to be looking up with the financial side of things. 

Cook first updated the board on the 6th Street project, sharing that they have gotten answers from both AT&T and Centerpoint and they will soon begin working. Cook will relay additional information to the board as it becomes available. The streetscape project budget update has been formed and Cook will be meeting with them to discuss the matter for more information on possible grant funding since the estimate amounted to more than expected. The public pool has new media installed and Summer Powell shared that they think the pool is fully repaired, but still are not sure if the pool will open this year.

The census response is in need of more numbers. Cook shared that the response is at about 50% and some work needs to be done to bump the numbers up. 

Mayor Montgomery stated that Warren Thornton will be passing out school supplies on the North Side on August 15th from 3-7pm.

Director Mark Ross asked about allowing activities in the park, but Cook stated that they are still being cautious with numbers still growing. The Parks and The Hub facilities are being used and people currently allowed to walk and picnic in the park. Cook answered Ross about the house across from City Hall on Louisiana Street, saying the owners have been notified of the code violations and further information will be provided as it becomes available. 

The meeting was adjourned and the board will reconvene next month for their regular meeting.