Hope City Board Approves Use of Coliseum for Lions Club Auction; Hall Named State Finance Officer of the Year

Erika Kemp

The Hope City Board met on Tuesday for their second October meeting, with the Lions Club Auction being the first item on the agenda. The Hope City Board has required any events with large numbers of people to be approved by the Arkansas Department of Health prior to the event. The Lions Club has sought out and gained approval by the ADHT for their annual auction and were present Tuesday evening seeking approval to rent the coliseum for December 3-5. The board expressed that if 500 people were to show up that there would be need to be concerned regardless of the coliseum’s large size. The capacity for the coliseum is 500 people, but this event has only been approved for 310 people, 66% of its full capacity. This number includes participants, volunteers and Lions club members. They will also be screening people prior to entry by giving a questionnaire and taking participants temperatures. Along with these precautions, seats will be disinfected as guests leave. The food will be served on a single-served basis to further ensure safety guidelines. This plan is quite extensive and will ensure that this event goes on like it has every year since 1943. The Lions Club raised around $35,000 for the community last year.

A decision to revise the City of Hope’s purchasing policy was approved.
As discussed at the last meeting, J.R. Wilson has been working for the last several months, to revise the city’s purchasing policy. These policies are currently found in several different places and this will place it all in one location. This will incorporate state law with city law, and make it
more transparent for everyone. For more in-depth details on the ordinance changes, see the article on the last meeting below:

Covid-19 Safety Concerns and Halloween Discussed Amongst Hope City Board

A bid was accepted to fix the drainage problems on Texas Street. The budget was set for $43,560, and the job was granted to Bobo and Bain Construction for $31,045. Bobo and Bain Construction are licensed contractors in the state of Arkansas.

A request to replace a mobile home with a more modern one on East Oak Street, brought attention to the Planning and Zoning Commission. East Oak St. was listed as commercial property in 1981. The board approved the decision to list it as a residential property.

The board approved a resolution for issue 1 that would make a half-cent sales tax permanent. Currently, the sales tax brings in around $235,000 for city streets, and $488,000 for county roads.

Catherine Cook announced to the board that Debbie Hall has been named the State Finance Officer of the Year. Debbie Hall has been with the City of Hope as the Finance Director since November 30, 1992. Being recognized by the state for her work shows how much of an asset to the City of Hope she has been and that her near 28 years of service has not gone unnoticed.

The city manager announced during her report that they are currently working on a 2021 budget. She also said that the city tour of facilities will be next Tuesday at 8:30 am. Later that day, the unveiling of the plaque at the hub will be presented at 11:30.

When asked about the Rose Hill Cemetery, the city manager informed the board that they are preparing to bid out the work for next year. She also stated that the city should be prepared to pay more this year, along with adding a termination clause when preparing the contract. Cook is
hoping that since this is a non-perpetual care cemetery, more of the families that use this cemetery can step up and volunteer.

Director Kiffenea Talley, brought attention to the board that they should rename the streets in the Green Acres before the year is over, because the streets are all named after Confederate officers from the civil war.

Director Mark Ross, had mentioned several complaints he has received recently. One being from upset citizens objecting to the closure of the park’s basketball courts. Another, from the loud music from Saddle Tramps. The board agreed that anyone concerned with loud noise should reach out to the police. Cook, addressing the closure of the basketball courts, said the Arkansas Department of Health has limits on how many sports are permitted. Ross expressed concerns that it does not seem fair to everyone, and that proof of the guidelines should be presented to assure that people will understand.

Director Kiffenea Talley encouraged everyone to vote and wants everyone to know that early voting is now in session. Reginald Easter gave thanks to the board on behalf of the Carrigan family. Carrigan passed away just 2 weeks prior unexpectedly, and the board expressed their

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