From the Desk of Mayor David Rutledge
Last updated 5/3/2022 at 9:52pm
Here's a few things happening around City Hall this past month.
We're working with our engineers / project managers to finalize the details on the new water well for our Sunnyside facility. The bids have been received and reviewed, and the council has awarded the job to the lowest bidder. Final documents are being prepared, and the successful contractor is being contacted. Work should start soon on this project, and we're all excited to get this going. We've been working hard for the past three plus years to get all grants and funding lined up on this, and now it's going to finally happen. We're also forging ahead with pursuing grants and funding for providing more capacity for our water systems in other areas of the city. With these enhancements, the city will be well poised for water supply and storage capacity for years to come.
The City is also working with the engineers and grant administrators to retrofit some of our sewer and water systems to make them less vulnerable to impact from future storms. This will help us to continue to strive to provide uninterrupted water and sewer service during emergency events. My personal goal is to not have any city-wide "boil water notices" due to storm effects. Our City crews have worked hard to make that goal reachable, and they've done a great job on getting closer to that target.
Another project we've been dreaming about and planning for over the past couple of years is to develop a "hardened" emergency operations center (EOC). Hurricanes Rita, Ike, Harvey, and Laura have shown us over the last 17 years that it's much easier to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major storm event if our City functions and personnel are operating from a central place. We know we can better serve our citizens during these emergencies if we don't have to worry about securing our operations facilities or getting enough employees in to work or relocating to other living spaces. We're pursuing multiple funding avenues to make this happen. I'll keep you posted.
Before long City Council will be working on several items, some routine, some not. Over the next few months, City Staff will be preparing the budget for the next fiscal year. Once they have a draft put together, they'll present it to Council for further discussions and workshops. Once that is done, Council will approve the final version. The City Staff puts in numerous hours, in all departments, preparing a budget that covers the needs of the City while keeping fiscal responsibility at the forefront of the discussions. I'll fill you in later on some of the other things we're working on.
And speaking of the budget, some of you may already know this, but I want to share it with the rest of you. This will be the last budget for our long-time Finance Director, Karen Morgan. After 25 or so years of working for the City, Karen is retiring. She has been a tremendous asset for Bridge City, keeping track of all the expenses and revenues, the grant money and grant reports that must be written, presenting a clearly explained and detailed budget for Council to review, and all the other things she works tirelessly to provide to Council and Staff. All of us that hang around City Hall are happy for Karen, but we're surely going to miss her a lot. We'll give her a little send off on May 27 from 2:00-4:00, and you're all invited to come by to tell her thanks and goodbye.
That's about it for now. See you around town. Take good care of "Bridge City, the Gateway to Lake Sabine."