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City of Bridgeport talks options for fire funds

By Racey Burden | Published Wednesday, January 24, 2018
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On Monday, Bridgeport City Council discussed adding a voluntary donation option to utility bills to raise funds for the fire department.

City Manager Jesica McEachern proposed automatically adding a $1 donation to monthly utility bills that could be removed at the customer’s request. She said the city has used this method in the past to pay for new vehicles for the fire department.

If all Bridgeport utility customers donated $1 per month, the fire department would get about $24,000 in annual donations. McEachern said that Chief Terry Long and the council would have to decide how the money would be spent.

Councilman David Correll said he’d rather have residents add a donation to their bill themselves and let them choose the amount.

“I think you’ll see if you ask everyone for a voluntary amount we’re going to get more than $24,000 the first year,” Correll said.

The council will continue to discuss the donation option at a future meeting.

NEIGHBORHOOD HAS VANDALISM PROBLEM

Ray Reyes, a resident who lives on Stonegate Boulevard, told the council on 2 a.m. Sunday he was woken by a loud noise, caused by someone throwing a large rock through his bedroom window.

“Obviously it scared us half to death,” Reyes said. “We didn’t know what was going on.”

Reyes said he reported the incident to the police, who were looking into it, but added that other neighbors have reported similar incidents.

“My concern is that it seems to be on that street only,” he said.

Reyes asked council members to consider adding extra lighting to the street. McEachern told him Police Chief Steve Stanford and Public Works Director James Elliott are putting a plan together for more streetlights on Stonegate Boulevard.

Councilman Kevin Lopez also suggested starting a neighborhood crime watch group.

The council also:

  • approved the transfer of an airport hangar lease.
  • approved the application of an 80/20 match, $25,000 Texas Parks and Wildlife grant for signs at Northwest Park.
  • approved an ordinance calling for a special May election to determine whether charitable bingo games can be held within city limits.
  • approved a resolution authorizing the execution of grant funds to purchase two radio receivers and towers for the police department.
  • lowered the city’s building permit fees.

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