BRIDGE CITY — City officials worked on the budget for the coming fiscal year as they begin the first stages of Bridge City’s comprehensive plan, which includes a long-term review of roads and water infrastructure, among other things elements.
“It will be updated, but it’s never been done here before,” City Manager Brent Walker said of the 10-year plan. “We will start there. We are looking at road maintenance because we have a certain amount of dollars that we can budget. We can do an assessment of all the roads in the city and determine the priorities. »
The city is interested in contracting a company to take a van on all roads in Bridge City and assess the condition, along with core samples. City officials would use this data to create a plan for which roads would receive immediate attention.
“In, say, an eight-year period, we’ll have hit all the roads and then we’ll start again,” Walker said.
Collecting data would also help the city apply for grants in case another tropical storm hits the area. Walker said the city can use the current data to show how much of an impact the storm has had on street conditions.
Bridge City is also looking to increase water storage. Walker said the funding could make the budget, but isn’t guaranteed for the coming fiscal year.
“We will also review all the water pipes,” he said. “We have already looked at some of these, some of the older lines and main lines that need to be replaced. This goes for water and waste water.
Council members and other officials predicted the town would grow by 200 to 300 residents over the next three years, which would be a continuation of a trend over the past decade.
In 2010, the US Census calculated Bridge City’s population at just under 8,000. Within a decade, the number soared to 9,500. With more growth on the way, the city needs to be proactive in upgrading its infrastructure.
“We know what our capabilities and our limitations are,” Walker said. “Our engineers tell us that the treatment plant cannot do much. When our water is most in demand, which is right now, we are already pushing the peak. We are about to install a water well in Sunnyside which will help increase the volume of water. »
Many cities have had to adjust current budgets due to inflation. Many municipalities spent the equivalent of an annual budget on gas in the first half of the year, with fuel prices doubling compared to 2021.
Walker and Mayor David Rutledge said city council and staff are keeping current costs in mind when preparing the next budget.
“That always takes into account,” Rutledge said. “We are keeping our taxpayers in mind by keeping an eye on what we will have available for the funds and how we will spend them. We want to make sure we are spending the public’s money efficiently and providing the services we need, while keeping an eye out for future trends that may affect our budget.
— By Chris Moore