The Hope City Board met for their second meeting of March on Tuesday with an agenda to consider several bids on city projects.
The first bid was for 3 zero turn lawn mowers, two of which are equipped with mulching kits. The board previously approved $25,500 in the 2020 budget for the purchase of 3 new mowers. Two bids were received, one determined to be non-responsive and the other from Hope Outdoor Power and Equipment in the amount of $26,015.00. City Manager Catherine Cook recommended the board approve the bid from Hope Outdoor Power & Equipment. Director Linda Clark moved to accept the bid and the board approved.
The 2020 budget authorized funds for street and drainage maintenance for 2020, and a portion is intended for the placement of hot mixed asphalt paving on certain streets. Five bids were received for asphalt overlay: $223,650.00 from Sid & Sons in Texarkana, AR, $240,975.00 from Wiley Calhoon Co in Texarkana, AR, $239,631.00 from Redstone Const Group in Little Rock, AR $223,390.0 from Tri-State Asphalt in Dequeen, AR and $241,164.00 from Red Rock Paving LLC, in Little Rock, AR. Director Coffee asked who had the bid last year and Tim Blue, Street Department Superintendent, stated that Tri-State had the bid last year as well. City Manager recommended the board accept the low bid from Tri-State Asphalt. Still asked if anyone thought the bids would be any better with the price of oil going down, Blue stated that he did not think so at this time, he spoke to the low bid contractor and they told him that they had spoken to their supplier in light of what is going on, they are still planning on proceeding as soon as they are able. Director Clark moved to accept the bid and the board approved awarding the bid to Tri-State Asphalt.
The street and drainage maintenance budget for 2020 also includes the removal of hot mixed asphalt paving on certain streets by cold milling. Two bids for Cold Milling Asphalt Pavement were received; $43,438.76 from Redstone Const Group in Texarkana, AR and $$39,070.08 from Red Rock Paving in Little Rock, AR. Manager Catherine Cook recommended the board accept the low bid from Red Rock Paving. Director Don Still asked how much the bid was last year, Blue responded that it was actually higher last year. Director Still made a motion to accept the bid and the board approved awarding the bid to Red Rock Paving.
Also included in the 2020 budget for the street and drainage maintenance was a portion intended for the control of weeds and nuisance vegetation on certain streets and drainage channels by means of herbicide application. Two bids for Vegetation Management Services were received: $18.000 from IVM Solutions dba Roadside, Inc in Auburn, AL and $16,080.00 from ChemPro Services in GulfBreeze, FL. Cook stated that both companies use approved products and have insurance in the event there are any problems. Cook recommended the board accept the low bid from ChemPro Services. Director Coffee asked how many miles would need to be treated. Blue stated that it was roughly 20 miles of roadway, plus several drainage channels. Treatments are split into 2 applications and split up that way in the event they only need 1 application. Director made a motion to approve and the board voted to accept the bid from ChemPro Services.
Sanitation Superintendent, Nathaniel Holyfield discussed the bid for the Challenger Container Loader. Holyfield explained that the challenger container loader is a part for the 2016 commercial truck. Cook reminded the board that instead of buying new truck, they had voted to replace this part for the 2016 truck to get several more years of use out of the truck. Holyfield stated that the truck engine is running well and overall it is in good shape, but it the use of the loader that needs repair. The city received 2 bids for the Challenger Container Loader: $24,993.38 from Arkansas Municipal Equipment and $$20,500.00 from Southwestern Equipment. The amount budgeted for the loader is $24,000.00 and Holyfield recommended the board accept the low bid from Southwestern Equipment. Holyfield stated that they would install the loader themselves and it would be back up and running very quickly. Director Coffee asked if the loader had ever been replaced on this particular truck before, Holyfield stated it had not. Director Clark moved to accept the bid from Southwestern Equipment and the board voted to accept the bid.
The City received 2 bids for a 2020 Skid Steer; $70,606.47 from JA Riggs and $68,381.85 from Ledwell. Cook stated that there is $85,000 in the budget for the Skid Steer and that the bid from Ledwell may come in lower due to them adding sales tax in. Cook stated that the Landfill Department recommends awarding the bid to Ledwell. Mark Curtis, from sanitation. stated that this skid steer won’t do any damage to the landscape and it is a faster piece of equipment. Director Coffee made a motion to approve the bid from Ledwell and the board voted to accept.
In the City Manager’s Report, Catherine Cook updated the board on COVID-19, ongoing city projects and the census.
Cook stated that they have done comprehensive city planning in regard to COVID-19 response. The city plans to do everything possible to maintain essential city services for the citizens and also to protect the health and well-being of employees and the community. This is very important and the city asks for all citizen’s cooperation. Under the President’s guidance of gatherings of no more than 10 people, events have been cancelled and many community entities are responding with closures. Cook stated that they are looking into doing city board meetings virtually, with public access for citizen’s requests, but do not plan to close anything in the city at this time. They have taken steps to ensure there are enough workers in each department to provide services should employees become ill. The parks are still open at this time, and individuals that have booked the community center and other event venues will receive refunds. Cook stated that any emergency announcements will be broadcasted in the media, as well as to through Code Red. The city is monitoring guidelines from authorities on COVID-19 daily, but plans will have to be made day to day as events progress.
On city projects, Cook informed the board that AT&T and Centerpoint are finally working on the utilities on 6th street. Surveyors were on 2nd Street & Elm last week for survey of the streetscape project. Several bidders attended a pre-bid meeting for the landfill project on Tuesday morning. Cook stated that they are hoping to get 6 or 7 bids and plans are to accept a bid if the numbers are good, but allow the contractors to wait until it dries up to begin work. They are also working on plans for a new roof for City Hall. Cook said that they are not slowing down on any projects at this time.
Cook stated that they have not lost emphasis on the 2020 Census. Everyone should have received their census forms and it only takes a few minutes to fill out. It’s easy to do and you may do it on paper, online or by phone. If citizens have no access to a computer, they may go to the library or the City Hall where computers are available. The city has someone available to answer any questions about the census and an individual has volunteered to help Spanish speaking individuals fill their forms out as well. Cook stated that the banners are still up, they have posted about it on facebook and in the media and every Hope resident should have received a letter in the mail in both English and Spanish. She said that if there is a low response rate, that they will be allowed to go back out and do more promotions. Mayor Montgomery asked when the deadline for the Census was and Cook responded that they will be working on through the summer. Cook encouraged everyone to be sure to fill out their form and get it mailed back in as soon as possible.
Director Coffee asked about the Atwoods property. Cook stated that they are still waiting on Atwoods to close and there is no close date as of now. Director Don Still stated that he would call them on Wednesday.
The next Hope City Board meeting will be held on April 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm in the City Hall Boardroom.