Bridge City gives thanks

Published 9:09 pm Friday, February 9, 2018

By Larry Holt

The Orange Leader


David Rutledge, Mayor of Bridge City stood front and center at the city council Tuesday evening meeting, first to commend and say thank you for the hard work city employee’s performed during Hurricane Harvey on behalf of the city and residents alike, and second to present a certificate of appreciation to each department.

In turn, department managers with their employee’s in attendance rose and was honored by the mayor for their combined efforts before, during, and after the devastating Hurricane Harvey event.

“I am proud of the work our employee’s did. Thanks to all who have done so much,” Rutledge expressed to attendees packing city council chambers.

“As an example, our city did not have to boil water during or after Harvey,” Rutledge said. “The best thing we can do is recognize everyone’s hard work.”

A male citizen stood and said he too was proud of the work the city did and cited how Bridge City debris cleanup was a month ahead of the county and other municipalities in the area.

Following the presentation of certificates, each council member expressed their individual sincere gratitude to employee’s managing and mitigating damage, and countless hours and effort cleaning up, answering citizen’s requests for assistance, all the while effectively managing the day-to-day operations.

City Manager Jerry Jones said he is in regular contact with FEMA regarding reimbursements and is confident the process is running smoothly – although exactly when reimbursements will be received is not known. Jones went on to say he is also in contact with officials from the drainage district with a focus on inspecting and clearing ditches and culverts of storm debris to, “ensure proper flow of water runoff.”

Mayor Pro-Tem and council member, Tammi Fisette also expressed pride in the activities of the city volunteer fire department citing a total of 1,561 call-outs on record for 2017 equal to 8,589 person hours in response to those calls.

Calls for fire department assistance ranged from structure fires, motor vehicle accidents, spills of various kinds, and two water rescues to name a few.

Activity for 2017 was up between, “300 to 400 calls compared to 2016,” Fishette said.

“I am so proud of our volunteer fire department. They do an awesome job and the citizens of the city can be proud too.” Fishette announced within one to two months the city will take possession of a new 110 foot platform fire truck to serve the growing needs of the city.

The platform truck will allow an extended reach capability to elevated spaces.

City Council unanimously approved a city-wide beautification initiative with council member Eric Andrus as the Beautification Committee chair in close coordination with council member Lucy Fields to assist reaching out to organizations, churches, city departments, and citizen volunteers.

Council member Carl Harbert said, “It’s our town. We need to clean it up and take pride in it” citing how Harvey hit Bridge City hard but now is the time to redouble efforts to improve.

In the meeting, it was reported 90-percent of the flooding in Bridge City from Hurricane Harvey was due to trash and other debris plugging up drainage.

In other business, the city council approved February 26, 2018 as the date to hear public comments on two proposed residential zone changes.

One proposed change is from Single Family Residential to Multi Family Residential to build duplexes in the area, and another from Single Family Residential to Third Commercial District to build a recreational vehicle park.

Letters to residents within 200 feet of the affected properties will receive letters from the City Manager’s office notifying them of the date, time, and location of the upcoming meeting. More information can be obtained by contacting the City Manager’s office.

The City of Bridge City General Election will be held Saturday, May 5, 2018.   The mayor’s seat is up for reelection as well as council members Kirk Roccaforte – Place 2, Eric Andrus – Place 4, and Lucy Fields – Place 6. More information specific to early voting and procedures for candidate filings can be obtained by contacting City Hall.