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From the Desk of Mayor David Rutledge

 

Last updated 9/6/2022 at 3:49pm

I wasn’t sure August was ever going to get over. It seems like it must’ve rained somewhere in the city every day. The unsettled weather sure reminds me that “H” season is here. (I don’t even want to say the word!) And those of us who have lived here very long know that September is usually the most active month of the Atlantic Basin “H” season for us. For the last couple of months, the City and the School District folks have been going over plans for how we respond to a storm and what it takes to recover from one. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten fairly good at this due to a lot of practice over the last few years. We’re in the process of solidifying those plans with the School and City, hoping that it’s all going to be unnecessary this year. And as I’ve stated here several times, I would encourage everyone to sign up for the Southeast Texas Alerting Network (STAN) to be able to get factual, up-to-date information in the event of emergencies and evacuations. Go to their website at http://www.theSTAN.com and sign up today.

Down at City Hall, we’ve completed work on and adopted our budget for the coming year that begins October 1st. For this year’s tax rate, we’ve been able to reduce the ad valorem tax rate by 7.9% from last year. It took a lot of budget trimming and watching all expected expenditures, but we feel confident that we can still serve our citizens and reduce our tax rate with the numbers we’ve adopted. One thing that has helped us reduce our tax rate is the continued strong growth the City is experiencing. The biggest obstacle to holding the line on our budget will be the inflation rate in the coming year. For a lot of this year, higher prices and contract costs have been challenging. We tightened our belt and held the line where we could to reduce the impact of this inflationary period. City Staff and City Council will continue to work hard to provide those essential services to our citizens at a reasonable cost.

Speaking of providing services to our citizens, have you noticed the activity going on around the water tower on Sunnyside? That’s where our contractor is drilling a new water well to increase our capacity and help us sustain our City growth rate. It’s a long and time-consuming project, but it is part of a comprehensive plan for City infrastructure. It also gives us more flexibility and reliability in providing water to our houses and businesses. Just like in the rest of the country, the “supply chain” is making it challenging to get all the equipment we need to complete this as quickly as I’d like. However, when it finally gets installed and is operational, it will all be worth it.

Another part of the City infrastructure plan has us working with our engineering team to develop a comprehensive street evaluation program. Over the next weeks and months, this team will determine the condition of all the streets in the City and their expected life cycles. From this we’ll develop a systematic plan for repairing/resurfacing all our streets on a continuing basis. Stay tuned, you’ll hear more about this as we get further into the program.

Be on the lookout later this month in the Penny Record for information on “National Night Out” taking place at the City Park on Tuesday, October 4th.

That’s about it for now. See you around town. Take good care of “Bridge City, the Gateway to Lake Sabine.”

 

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