It was a return of familiar faces Tuesday night as newly elected members of the Hope City Board of Directors took the oath of office during the first meeting of the year. Willie Walker and Dennis Ramsey were re-elected to the board and were sworn in at the beginning of the meeting by District Court Judge Tony Yocom.
Walker has served on the Board since 1983 and also serves on the Hope Street Committee.
Ramsey has represented Ward 5 on the Board since 1978. He has served as mayor since 1993. Ramsey also serves on the Hope Advertising and Tourism Commission and Hempstead County Economic Development Corporation.
Following the swearing-in of the re-elected board members, the Board went into executive session to discuss the nomination for mayor and vice mayor, which have to be voted on by the Board members following each election. After returning from executive session, the Board voted unanimously to re-elect Dennis Ramsey as mayor and Steve Montgomery as vice mayor.
The board set a public hearing to consider a new taxi franchise in the city for noon on Wednesday, January 16th in the City Hall Board Room. The request for the franchise is from John Caldwell doing business as Downtown Taxi.
The board also heard a report on various projects by City Manager Catherine Cook.
Cook said a lot of work had recently been completed in City Hall, including replacing some carpet and other carpet and chairs being cleaned. She said she’s currently trying to find someone to replace the east side doors on the building at an affordable cost.
Cook said that work on the Martindale Clinic is expected to be finished by January 25th. The only thing remaining of the project is some cabinet work. The building has undergone a major renovation to be used by the Christian Charitable Clinic. The project has been funded by grant money.
Cook said the building project for the Loving Arms Daycare is coming along with the building now in the dry.
She said that hopefully the finishing touches to the Amtrak platform can be added in the next couple of weeks. She said two planks had already been attached to the concrete platform with bolts and epoxy to extend the structure to the length required by Union Pacific and Amtrak. However, the epoxy being used requires temperatures of 40 degrees or higher. When the temperature comes back up, the project should be completed.
Cook also gave updates on work being done at Fair Park and the Hope Municipal Airport taxiways.
She said the board may have to schedule a special meeting soon due to Temple Inland being purchased by International Paper that intends to sell it to Georgia Pacific. The City Board would need to be involved because of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds currently issued to Temple Inland that would need to be changed over to Georgia Pacific.
The next meeting of the City Board will be on Wednesday, January 16th at noon in the City Hall Board Room.