The City Council met in person at the City Hall in Bridge City Thursday night. It was the first meeting in person for the council in several months because of the pandemic.
The meeting began with recognition of Public Works Director Mike Lund and Mike Dye the Superintendent of the Water Department for their excellent efforts during the winter storm this week to keep water pressure in the city at normal capacity. City Manager Jerry Jones thanked Dye and his department’s employees for their hard work during the freezing weather.
Jones praised the work of Dye’s department. “They were out at one and two o’clock in the morning thawing lines and checking on different things that were going on, so we appreciate what they did and want everybody to know how much they did during that time.” Bridge City did not have to issue a boil water notice as several other municipalities in the county did.
Jones updated the council on several projects that have been ongoing through the pandemic and during this week’s cold weather. Crews have replaced 41 of the 48 fireplugs in the city.
Bridge City has been forced to cutback on constructing two new water wells using grant money. The engineering for the Sunnyside well is in progress and bids should be let soon. Funds were not available from the grant to start on the Roberts Street well.
Resurfacing of three streets will be done with city funds when the weather improves. Franklin, Gary, and Bland should be completely resurfaced by late summer.
An ordinance was approved for adjusting the speed limits on the portions of state maintained FM 1442 in the city limits of Bridge City. There are currently four sections of varying speed limits on the highway which will be reduced to three sections with the ordinance.
The Texas Department of Transportation reported that statistics show an unusually large number of vehicle crashes on FM 1442 between the Bridge City Elementary School and the intersection with FM 105. This has prompted TxDOT to request Bridge City pass the ordinance for lowering the speed limits on FM 1442 which the state agency will implement in the coming months.
Mayor David Rutledge said in discussions with TxDOT the plan is also to add multiple turn lanes on FM 1442. This is also hoped to alleviate crashes caused by vehicles trying to merge onto the highway during heavy traffic periods.
Following state requirements, the City Council approved the appointment of members to the Animal Shelter Advisory Committee. Dr. Wendy Browning will be the Licensed Veterinarian, Mike Reed will serve as the Municipal Official, Hank Fontenot is the Animal Control Officer, and Gwen Tallant was appointed the Animal Welfare Organization Representative.
The 2020 Racial Profiling Report for the Bridge City Police Department was accepted by the council. There were 2,521 stops made by the Bridge City Police in 2020 with no incidents or complaints of racial profiling.
The Emergency Declarations of Local Disaster for COVID-19 and for Hurricane Laura were extended. Both extensions were for another 30 days.
The Orange County Mosquito Control District was approved an aerial waiver which will allow them to fly at low altitudes to spray for mosquitoes. This is an annual action done within the city limits of Bridge City.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-