The Hope City Board of Directors agreed Wednesday that local competition is good for business.

The Hope City Board of Directors agreed Wednesday that local competition is good for business. Meeting in a special noon session, the board munched on pizza as it addressed a permit application for a second taxicab company in Hope. No opposition was voiced concerning the permit application by John Caldwell, of Hope, doing business as Downtown Tax Company, LLC, for a taxicab service permit, and the board unanimously approved the request. Greg Mullins, designated as the driver for the company, put the question directly to the board during a public hearing on the request. “You wouldn't want to limit yourself to one doctor, or one policeman in town, would you?,” Mullins posed. He said the question was one of encouraging business and services in Hope. “I want to work with the other cab company,” Mullins added. He said his company would keep pricing at current rates, and would be willing to work out a weekend “on call” arrangement with the existing service to allow for time off. Mullins said two cab services operating in town would also benefit organizations such as nursing homes in providing more service convenience. The board took the point with a lighthearted approach, as Mayor Dennis Ramsey, a banker, joked that he wouldn't mind if there were only one bank in Hope. The board also opened the door, so to speak, on a project at Hope City Hall, which City Manager Catherine Cook said had been stuck over costs involved for several years. Voting unanimously to adopt an ordinance to waive bids on the installation of new doors to the east entrance at City Hall, the board authorized Artex Overhead Doors, Inc., of Hope, to replace the two doors at a cost of $6,853.89. That was the cheapest price Cook said she has been able to find anywhere for the two non-standard sized doors to replace the custom-built wooden doors installed in 1995 as part of a City Hall renovation to return the structure to its original appearance. “These doors that were put in back in 1995 were called solid wood, but they are not solid, so they swell,” she said. As a result, the doors remain frozen closed much of the time. Cook said the doors had been a problem since they were installed. She said Artex will provide the doors to specifications to appear the same as those at other entrances. “It will look, from an aesthetic standpoint, like our current doors, but it will have a panic bar and will open outward instead of inward,” she said.