Municipal improvements were high on the agenda for the Hope City Board meeting April 3 as they voted unanimously to move forward with the construction of the Hope Pavilion on Elm Street at the corner of 3rd Street.

Municipal improvements were high on the agenda for the Hope City Board meeting April 3 as they voted unanimously to move forward with the construction of the Hope Pavilion on Elm Street at the corner of 3rd Street.
Under the direction of architect Clint Bailey, the $25,000 multi-use structure measuring 120 ft. by 55 ft. (or 6600 sq. ft.) and accompanying green space will serve the Hope Farmers' Market as well as be available for community events. City Manager Catherine Cook stated that she hoped to see many events on the site including community events and weddings. A community garden of raised beds is included in the plan for the green space to the north of the pavilion and a service building housing a family restroom and cold storage will be constructed using reclaimed historic bricks from the Graves building and other sites. Details of the construction schedule are available on the city website.
Mayor Steve Montgomery assured the community that the "modern" look of the structure met the approval of the committee and could be altered as needed.
Police Chief J.R. Wilson presented a plan for a new annex to the Police Department noting the need for more office space for the detectives and other personnel. The building, designed by H+N architects, will primarily serve as office space for the city detectives with a portion of the structure being designated as "future use" which will serve as storage space until needed. Additional plumbing will not be added. The total estimate for the addition is approximately $327,000.
Wilson also reviewed the application for renewal of the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) Grant for fiscal year 2018-2019. The Hope Police Department has utilized the STEP grant for over 20 years to support overtime for officers targeting DWI/DUI violations, seat belt regulation, and speeding enforcement. The STEP program, supported by about $25,000 annually, has resulted in over 1,300 vehicle stops and over 600 hours of police work. The deadline for submission of the grant is 30 April 2018.
Director Kiffinea Talley requested Wilson to provide data on the gender, race, and ethnicity of arrests, interventions, and assistance to the City Board.
Dan McCullough of SCS Engineers outlined a proposal for groundwater remediation at a portion of the city landfill used from 1967 to 1996. The suggested approach to remove the groundwater is phytoremediation, or the planting of trees, specifically willow and poplar, to serve as a barrier for groundwater expansion and as a filter to both absorb the water and any potential toxins.
Cook reinforced the fact that the groundwater is currently only 12 to 15 feet deep at the most and that the trees will keep the water from drifting off-site. The council voted unanimously to proceed with the $36,400 plan as scheduled beginning with the planting and monitoring of a test area of approximately 100 square feet.
Steve Harris, of the Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation, reported on continuing activities, noting that while unemployment in Hope is low that fact can make it difficult to entice new industries to the city due to the lack of an immediately available workforce.
While the HCEDC continues to work to bring new businesses to the area, it is first and foremost committed to support the survival and growth of local industry, according to Harris.
"We are a manufacturing community. We are on the Interstate. We have active rail access. Industries can save a lot of money by coming here. We want them to come here, but not at the expense of our current partners,” Harris said.