Meeting in special session Wednesday to formally adopt a lease agreement involving 1995 series revenue bonds, the Hope City Board of Directors also got some disturbing news about vandalism at local parks.
The board adopted the assignment of its Hope Industrial Park lease by Temple-Inland Forest Products to the company's successor, Georgia -Pacific Panel Products LLC, which bought the TI assets in December, 2012, through an agreement by the parent companies, International Paper Co. and Georgia-Pacific.
The lease assignment under the $44.3 million revenue bond issue requires GP Panel Products to assume responsibility for certain payments in lieu of taxes intended to retire the bonded debt. The original bonds were issued to finance construction of the current TI plant in the industrial park.
With the only agenda item out of the way, Hope City Manager Catherine Cook reported to the board concerning a break-in and vandalism at the Northside Community Park Community Center. Cook said the vandalism left about $2,500-$3,000 in damage, including a smashed glass door, damaged video games, damage to a pool table, water damage from a water fountain torn from a wall and left running, damage to a park banner, and the theft of several video games.
Hope Parks and Recreation Director Paul Henley said the break-in likely occurred early Tuesday morning, not long before the community center's youth program director arrived. Henley said police believe that to be the case because of the amount of water on the floor when the burglary was discovered. He said the perpetrator likely knew the operating hours and floor plan of the community center.
City directors Don Still, David Johnson and Steve Montgomery immediately expressed concern about the security at all of the City's parks, and the costs involved in repair and replacement after vandalism.
Cook said the Northside center is infrequently used, noting that only about eight teens a day used the facility during the recent Christmas break. She suggested that the board revisit whether to continue the program year round.
The Northside vandalism was but one example of more than a dozen separate instances reported Wednesday in the Hope Star at Hope Fair Park, Northside Community Park, the Hope Soccer Park and the Hope Skateboard Park which have occurred recently.
Cook also reported to the board that a final inspection was completed Friday of the Martindale Clinic renovation for use as the Hope Charitable Christian Medical Clinic, and that a grand opening of the facility is being planned.