The Hope City Board approved use of the city's Fair Park Community Center for the Senior Citizens Center at its Tuesday night meeting.
The Hope City Board approved use of the city’s Fair Park Community Center for the Senior Citizens Center at its Tuesday night meeting.
For the seniors and the Area Agency on Aging, the help means that seniors can be served fresh lunches Monday through Thursday, generally starting at 11:30 a.m. most days.
The Senior Citizens Center has lost its downtown Hope location, and agency officials have been looking for a new home. Ruthie Langston said the group is looking for buildings, which the Senior Center requires a commercial facility with a kitchen.
“Rents have been too high,” she said.
The Area Agency on Aging also runs the local Meals on Wheels program, which serves about 50 meals a day to home-bound seniors.
Langston said that the social interaction with the Meals drivers is often the only regular contact some of the home-bound seniors have.
The Hope City Board unanimously approved the use of the Fair Park Community Center until the group could find its own facility; Langston said that the Prescott Senior Center would prepare the meals for use at Fair Park.
Facility usage was not so simple, however, regarding a local group known as the Hope Rockers, who have been using the Douglas Washington Community Center at Northpark for some time for at least two nights a week, but residents claimed have actually been out there as many as four nights.
A representative of the Hope Rockers failed to appear before the Hope City Board on Tuesday leading to more questions about the group and its activities. Mayor Steve Montgomery and Director Mark Ross questioned whether the group was a For-Profit or Non-Profit group.
“There are just too many unanswered questions here,” Ross said.
Director Kiffenea made a motion to table the issue until a representative from the group could appear to answer the Board’s questions.
In other Board news regarding city facilities, the Hope City Board agreed to renew a $600 lease with the Arkansas State Police at the Hope Airport for the CDL Driver’s testing. The lease has been continuously active for more than 20 years, and basically involves one acre of property for truck drivers tests. The State Police have used a portable facility at the airport for years, so not actual airport office or hanger space is used. The Board approved the renewal.
Also, City Attorney Joe Short presented an update on the old Fink Building property, which has had a lien over the time since the property burned in a fire. Short said it cost the city approximately $28,000 to clear the property.
In his update, Short said that the Fink ownership offered to settle for $15,000, and he said the board had the options to accept, reject, or modify.
Director Trevor Coffee said he felt like the downtown property owners were “playing the city” and wondered how much longer the city was going to accept it. Short said that legal processes in foreclosure could take up to an additional 18-months before resolution, adding Fink would likely contest.
Short said, “As we say in the business, a bad settlement is better than bad verdict.
After a mix of silence and quiet discussion among the board members, Montgomery said he believed the consensus was that the board would consider settling but that $15,000 was unacceptable. The board directed Short to propose a counter-offer of $22,000.
While discussing various options, including legal ones, Short had informed the board that the Fink ownership was asking six figures for the outright sale of the property.