Good Hope City Council discusses property and infrastructure development, taxes, holiday plans

W.C. Mann

GOOD HOPE – On Monday evening the Good Hope City Council held a meeting at Good Hope City Hall.  The meeting was for information and discussion; no votes were taken.  Mayor Jerry Bartlett and all council members were present.

The work session featured four items of business.

The council first recognized Dan Willingham, who came to discuss development of the Deer Run subdivision.  He owns property there, and is hoping to sell lots for construction; but sewer lines and roads have not been completed.  At least 40 new lots are waiting to be made available for construction.  Willingham asked if the council would consider acting to complete the infrastructure of the subdivision, specifically: finish running sewer lines, finish paving roads and install curbs. 

The council next recognized Joseph Fisher, who came as spokesman for Cabin Fever Beverages owner Kolby Lawrence, to address concerns with the bids being taken by the council for phase one of construction at the Wilco Hess Travel Plaza.  Lawrence is concerned that construction under the current bid proposal will hinder access to and from his properties, which adjoin Wilco Hess and include both Cabin Fever and the Pawn Your Bond pawn shop next door.  Specifically, there is a potential problem with delivery trucks getting in and out of the beverage store's parking lot, and with customers being able to exit during high traffic times.  Fisher requested that the council consider pushing back the Dec. 7 bid deadline at least a week, so Lawrence and the council might have more time to come to an agreement.  Bartlett said that they would take the request under advisement.

Next, Bartlett brought up the possibility of a half-cent sales tax increase to help pay down the outstanding debt on the City’s sewer system.  He noted that the increase could result in up to $68,000 more money per year.  The debt, which will take 10 years to pay off at the current rate, could be paid off two years sooner.  Having brought it up, Bartlett himself then posed the question of whether or not the two years would be worth the trouble of enacting a new tax.  He stated his concern that the public might not respond well to a new tax right now.  Additionally, council members discussed whether a tax dedicated to sewer debt would be the best course, or if a better plan might be a broader tax for more general "infrastructure development."

The last item on the agenda was the announcement of Good Hope’s upcoming holiday event schedule.  On Wednesday, Nov. 23 beginning at 11 a.m., the town will host a free 1,200-plate community Thanksgiving meal at Good Hope High School; attendees are encouraged to invite the elderly and those in need.  The city's Christmas parade and "Christmas in the Park" will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday Dec. 10. 

Good Hope is also sponsoring a drive to help needy families.  The council encourages those interested to drop off items at city hall or Dollar General by Dec. 5.  Requested items include new non-wrapped toys, non-perishable food items and stocking stuffers.

Regular Good Hope City Council meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of each month, at 6:30 p.m. at Good Hope City Hall.  The public is invited to attend.


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