Hope City Board approves fix to landfill dozer, preparations for runway repainting, chooses manager for concession stands

In its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Hope City Board of Directors decided to waive competitive bidding and approve repairs to a landfill dozer, preparation for the repainting of the main runway at the municipal airport and a choice of management of two concession stands in Fair Park. During her report, City Manager Catherine Cook asked for residents to bring her suggestions about what other recreation equipment the city might purchase.

A Caterpillar 2004 D5 will be repaired at a cost of $37,259.18 by JA Riggs Caterpillar. The repairs would include, according to agenda information distributed before the meeting, bearing replacement, transmission speed sensor replacement, overhaul of the radiator and temperature-regulating assembly and overhaul of the air conditioner.

At the request of Cook, the board waived the bidding process. Cook said this was because the dozer needed to be repaired at a Caterpillar-authorized facility. The board also voted to immediately approve the spending on an emergency basis, since the dozer’s services were necessary to the smooth running of the landfill.

With the paint fading on the main runway at Hope Municipal Airport, the board voted to start addressing the issue by approving a work order that calls for $39,900 in funding from the city for preparatory engineering work to be done by Garver Engineers. Garver will also be involved in planning, bidding and construction during the entirety of the project. In the meantime, the city will apply for a grant from Arkansas Department of Aeronautics, which would cover 20 percent of the cost of the whole project, which is estimated will cost $230,000. The cost of engineering is not covered by the grant.

The city awarded a management contract to run concession stands at Kelly Fields and Soccer Field from July of 2022 through December of 2024 to Lori Morrison, who will pay $12,500 to the city to provide concessions at Kelly and $10,000 for Soccer Field.

Cook’s report to the board included an upbeat assessment of the Fireworks Display event, which took place this past Saturday at Hope Municipal Airport. Cook said the attendance was more than last year and reported on receiving compliments from those who went. Mayor Don Still added that last year’s troubles with traffic leaving the event had not recurred because of better planning on the part of staff. Cook said nine food trucks did business and that next year’s event would feature a bouncy castle for youngsters. When Still reported he heard complaints that more bathrooms were needed, Cook responded that 10 were present and perhaps next year a map would be provided to attendees illustrating where the bathrooms could be found.

Cook also said the Yerger High class reunion was taking place this week. She welcomed those attending it and announced its museum would be open this week.

She reported that a public hearing had taken place under the auspices of the Kiwanis Club in which suggestions were made for what recreational facilities could be brought to the town. The most popular of the suggestions was for a splash pad. Cook said these had been priced up to $220,000 as of 2018. The splash pad that recycles its water would cost an additional $125,000 and would call for more stringent state inspections. Prescott and Ashdown both have small splash pads. Cook said she’d like to know the public’s disposition on these options before August when grant proposals to receive up to half the cost of these from the state would be due. “As always we get our direction from you all,” she said.

The Pocket Park is still waiting for “basic components” that have been ordered and will arrive in a few more weeks. The Arkansas Highway Department has cashed its check for services purchased this spring for the Streetscape project. The second attempt to receive bids will begin Thursday, the City Manager said.

Cook warned the board of directors that the project’s cost will likely go over what has been budgeted for it, largely because of inflation. “There’s not a project bidding for what it was two years ago,” she said.

A question was asked about the food truck that had been using city-owned space. Cook said that truck has now moved to a space that is privately owned.

Director Trevor Coffee asked about the sign that had been ordered for the Fair Park Pavilion. Cook said this had just arrived.

Lastly, Cook pointed to two important dates. On the evening of July 7, another in Klipsch Heritage Museum Association-sponsored series of Big Sounds Downtown concerts will take place at The Hub.  On July 23, a Saturday, the city will preside over another Cleanup Day.

Director Mark Ross reported to the board that he had visited when the new lighting installed at Northside Park was in use. “It made a big difference,” he said.

Before adjournment Mayor Still said, “Thanks everybody who worked on the fireworks show,” and credited the Hope Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for financing the evening.

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