The City Council met Tuesday night in Bridge City. The council took off the table a request from James Chatlosh to have his property on West Roundbunch in Bridge City disannexed.
The request was made weeks ago and was tabled to allow City Attorney Paul Fukuda the opportunity to review whether it was legal under guidelines from the Texas Municipal League to disannex property in the city limits. Fukuda told the council there are no legal reasons for disannexation. The City Council then voted unanimously against disannexing Chatlosh’s property from the city.
During the meeting representatives with Action Civil Engineers (ACE) gave a presentation for the council and several interested citizens concerning the drainage in the Elsie area of Bridge City. Will Larrain and Mark Kelly looked at five-year and one hundred-year flood models. The five-year model represents a storm dropping one inch of rain an hour, and the one hundred-year flood would occur with between two to two and a half inches of rain falling each hour.
Larrain and Kelly gave their recommendations based on the results of their tests. They recommended the open ditches were adequate to handle the five and one hundred-year storms, and further suggested the cleaning of the ditches to help reestablish the original flow lines at the driveways or street crossings.
Storm System One the close conduit system did not rate as good. The analysis showed the existing storm sewer system was not adequate to handle even a five-year storm. The engineers with ACE performed design calculations to up size the storm system so it would handle a five-year frequency storm while containing the results of a one hundred-year storm within the rights-of-way or the drainage easement.
City Manager Jerry Jones said the project will be very extensive and will cost about $221,000 to complete. A contractor would have to be hired to do the work. Larrain and Kelly met with citizens from the Elsie community and discussed their study after the meeting.
Jones updated the City Council about Bridge City’s participation in the federal and state programs to purchase properties damaged in Tropical Storm Harvey. Bridge City will pursue the acquisition program. Jones indicated the schedule for implementing it would start after the application deadline of December 15.
The program will be administered by Bridge City’s grant consultant. Property owners interested in participating in the acquisition program will need to contact the city before the December 15 deadline and must be of low to moderate income to qualify. Renters may also apply as long as the landlord is low to moderate income. “There’s different stipulations in here that we’re going to have to play with, but the grant consultants are familiar with all those and they will really handle all that for us,” Jones added.
The Acquisition Program allows the property purchased to be used again. The Buyout Program requires nothing to be built on the property for several decades up to one hundred years.
The City Council will hold a joint public hearing with the Planning and Zoning Commission on Monday, November 26. The hearing is to receive public comments on a request to change the zoning of property on FM 408 from single family residential to second commercial. The property owner wants to build duplexes on the site. The public hearing is scheduled to start at 6:00 PM on November 26 in the City Hall.
A workshop was approved to take place prior to the next regularly scheduled City Council meeting. The council will discuss topics that were brought up during the Texas Municipal League Conference it attended in October. The workshop will start at 5:30 on Tuesday, November 20.
Citizens paying their water bills in Bridge City will not have to leave their homes in the future. The council approved implementing an Interactive Voice Response Module for handling the billing over the phone. Citizens can call the city hall, type in their account number with the city, the amount they are paying, and their credit card information. An additional $1.25 fee will be charged and the three percent fee which is already charged for using a credit card to pay their water bill will also be applied to the amount paid. Karen Morgan with Bridge City said this will provide a different avenue for people to pay their bills.
Two persons were appointed to fill vacancies on the Library Advisory Board. Robbie Bethea and Joyce Dubose will serve as advisors for the Bridge City Public Library.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-