The City Council in Bridge City approved the tax rate for next fiscal year and rates for sewer, water, and garbage collection on Tuesday. The tax rate was reduced while some of the municipal rates for residences will go up in October.
The ad valorem tax rate of $0.52369 was approved unanimously by the council. This is a reduction in the tax rate, but many Bridge City residents will still see an increase in their municipal taxes because of increased appraised values of their properties.
The water rate will go up October 1 of this year by 84 cents per thousand gallons over 50 thousand gallons. The sewer rate will go up by 50 cents per thousand gallons over three thousand gallons.
The garbage collection rate will remain at $21.75. Peggy Prosperie questioned why the rate was not reduced since Republic Services had lowered the rate it charges Bridge City for garbage collection by 75 cents. Councilwoman Tammi Fisette echoed Prosperie prior to the vote on the proposed rates.
City Manager Jerry Jones explained the reasons for the increase in water and sewer and no reduction in garbage rates. With the new water wells Bridge City is required by the state to perform more testing which is expensive and the increase in the water and sewer rates are to keep the municipal water system from losing money.
The reduction from Republic Services will be used to cover the city’s cost to provide dumpsters behind the city hall for citizens to dispose of items that might otherwise end up in ditches and roads. Jones said, “We’re simply taking that 75 cents to try to offset some of that loss.” Fisette cast the only dissenting vote by the City Council on the municipal rates that were approved for next year.
The engineers to handle the Roberts Well project will be from LJA Engineering. The council approved the recommendation of the selection review committee to hire LJA for the constructing of the new water well. The funding for the well project will be from a $1.9 million grant as part of the American Rescue Plan Act.
The laying of new sewer lines as part of a Community Development Block Grant has 50 properties completed out of the 125 called for in the grant. Public Works Director Mike Lund is scheduled to meet this week with engineers this week on the Sunnyside Well project. The meeting is expected to finalize all the details which will be then forwarded to the state before ground work begins.
Jones shared some good news that Bridge City will be getting a new restaurant in the near future. The construction that is in front of the Walmart store on Texas Avenue is making the site ready for a new Kentucky Fried Chicken location.
The recently appointed Bridge City Police Chief Tod McDowell was introduced by Jones at the beginning of the meeting to those attending the City Council meeting. McDowell received congratulations from all the members of the council.
Written by KOGT Radio