It’s been a busy year in Beaumont! While many places pumped the brakes during a tough year, we had our foot on the gas pedal the whole time. Beyond the normal day-to-day city operations, departments and leadership adopted the mantra “More than Ever Before” to move the City forward. Here are some of the highlights and achievements from 2021. 

Animal Care

  • A total of 1358 animals were rescued, and 670 were adopted.
  • 179 spay and neuters were done through our voucher program. The program was so successful, they ran out of vouchers in early October and have already started giving them out for 2022. 
  • Completed 321 trap-neuter-returns (TNR), over 100 more than 2020. 
  • Participated in several community events, including Dogtoberfest, Touch a Truck, BISD Reads, monthly adoption events, volunteer fairs, and even presented a lifetime achievement award presented to Mayor Ames. 

CVB 

  • According to the Travel Texas Industry Association, visitor spending in Beaumont brought in over $308 million last year, including meetings, sports, and leisure travel, and topped neighboring cities like Sugarland, The Woodlands, and Conroe.
  • The Localist Program celebrated its one-year anniversary. Residents were asked to eat, play, do and share their adventures around town so everyone could see all there is to do in Beaumont and help change the narrative. With more than 100 participants sharing their experiences, love letters, and local recipes with the hashtag #GoBeau, it’s a fun way to see the City from a tourist’s perspective and drown out the negativity.
  • Beaucycles were introduced to the City, a fleet of 24 bikes rentable for just $5 for 3 hours. Explore on your own or follow one of the suggested routes for one of the best ways to see downtown.
  • An official Geocaching Tour was launched, a real-world, socially distanced scavenger hunt you can do anytime. The 25 hidden containers have been found over 2,000 times, with participants spending $3000+ in the area and coming from as far away as Georgia to participate. 
  • A free foodie passport program, the Cajun Trail, was created, which allows you to earn prizes for eating local and enjoying our native cuisine. With over 1200 check-ins, there are currently over 600 active participants – and you can join anytime.
  • The first-ever Artaco Festival brought 3500 people to downtown Beaumont for tacos, brews, art, and sunshine, raising over $6k for the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and The Fire Museum of Texas.
  • Over 7000 people came out for the inaugural Beaulympics, which brought a Cajun Carnival like no other. Over 80 groups, partner organizations, and hundreds of volunteers enjoyed a dunk tank, gator races, “Try”athalons, food competitions, and live entertainment. 
  • Throughout 2021, the convention sales team hosted week-long meetings and tournaments with sporting events, bringing in over 100+ teams each weekend. 
  • Cattail Marsh was named the best free outdoor attraction in Texas, and offerings expanded by hiring an Education Coordinator to add more weekly programming, including kid’s crafts and ecotourism initiatives.

Events

  • Despite COVID cancellations in Q1 and Q3, Event Services still hosted more than 300 events in 2021. Concerts/shows of note included: Eddie B, Kountry Wayne, Charley Crockett, Blue October, Bely y Beto, Army National Guard Band, Brian Regan, Jesse Dayton, and more. 
  • A record crowd celebrated at Oktoberfest with an estimated attendance of 6,000. 
  • The Summer Sundown Concert Series was launched, and the wildly popular Lunch at the Lake returned.
  • Lakeside Center expanded its offerings to include free sewing classes and holiday painting pop-ups, in addition to regular programming. 

Finance 

  • Received a “Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting” by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

Health Services

  • Beaumont Public Health administered 54,534 Covid-19 Vaccines in 2021.
  • The Immunization Division also administered 3,793 childhood and adult vaccinations to approximately 1,490 patients.
  • The Vital Statistics Division produced approximately 2,717 death records and 3,291 birth certificates.
  • Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program provided services to 35,830 participants.

Library

  • Circulated 240,000 items to the public during the pandemic. 
  • Collaborated with community partners, including the Children’s Museum, Energy Museum, Lamar Institute of Technology, Beaumont Housing Authority, Beaumont Independent School District, and others on events such as Touch a Truck, Dino Day, Trunk or Treat, and Summer Reading Club Kits. 
  • Facilitated virtual story times via Zoom and Facebook, including 13 hosted by City Department Directors.
  • Provided educational and STEAM programming and other fun curricula through the highly successful Imagination Kit program. Approximately 11,800 STEAM kits and resources were distributed to children in the Beaumont area. 
  • Instituted a new e-Book service by joining the Bibliotheca Cloud Library Consortia. This allows anyone with a Beaumont Library Card to access over 300,000 e-Books owned by other libraries throughout the state. 
  • Bought four UV book sanitizers to clean materials loaned out to the public.

Parks 

  • Pickleball became the fastest-growing sport in America. Parks added lines for eight courts at the Tennis Center and four courts at Rogers Park. 
  • The splash pad at Rogers Park was upgraded.

Planning 

  • Planning processed tens of thousands of permits and inspections, hundreds of planning and zoning reviews, and thousands of code enforcement cases.
  • In response to COVID, the department developed a Rental Assistance Program, which offered more than $3 million in rental and utility assistance to those economically affected by the Pandemic and at risk of becoming homeless.
  • The department helped bring Project Arbor, a potential $1 Billion biomass gasoline plant to market, coordinating a 312 abatement and rezoning of the site.
  • Planning completed the transition to a fully online “One-Stop” Permitting Center, allowing contractors and other applicants to apply for permits and planning applications, monitor their projects, and schedule inspections remotely. The new system allows for enhanced data capture and improved data-based decision making.
  • Assisted in bringing Project Clear to reality by securing a 312 abatement for a $40 M investment at the Suez facility near Beaumont Municipal Airport.
  • Developed a conceptual plan for the AT&T and Riverfront area in order to help facilitate the acquisition of the property.
  • Partnered with the Salvation Army to restore their homeless shelter on McFaddin.
  • Began renewal of City’s transit system by developing a new brand and logo for the system, improving the rider experience by securing funding for sixteen (16) new transit vehicles and developing a smartphone app for riders, to be released in early 2022.
  • Revised the City’s sign ordinance to legally comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that affected most sign ordinances throughout the nation.

Personnel

  • A new Communications Division was created to better communicate to the public what we have done and what we are doing, increase transparency and build trust.
  • Staff was celebrated during National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (April 14), City Administrative Professionals Day (April 21), City Nurses Day (May 6), Customer Service Week (October 6), Municipal Court Week (November 3), and the 30th Anniversary of 911 (December 10).
  • Red Cross Lifeguard Certification classes were held every weekend in May.
  • HR hosted the Annual Employee Appreciation Luncheon (May 20), Annual Employee & Family Christmas Party (December 1) and recognized 16 employees for 25, 30, 35, and 40 years of service.
  • HR participated in several community events – Beaulympics, RISE Center’s ADA Celebration, virtual and in-person job fairs hosted by Lamar, LIT, the Workforce, and United Way of North Jefferson County’s 2022 Campaign Drive raising over $6k in contributions/donations.

Police

  • BPD had one of the largest community turnouts ever at their Trunk or Treat event.
  • BPD Partnered with the Gift of Life Program for the pink patrol car to draw awareness and “Drive Out Cancer.”
  • Santa in Blue was able to serve a larger portion of the community than ever before thanks to generous donations from the citizens.

Streets and Drainage

  • The team cleaned thousands of feet of gutters in the streets of Beaumont, which will allow for better drainage during heavy rain events.  
  • They patched numerous asphalt roadways and replaced hundreds of square yards of concrete panels to improve driving conditions.

Technology Services 

  • Alongside Emergency Management and Public Health, IT created a vaccine portal for all Southeast Texas government administrators (Hardin County, Orange County, Winnie, Jefferson County, Port Arthur, Beaumont, Jasper County, and Newton County) to assist with registrations, notifications, and scheduling. 
  • Coordinated with all departments to collect, interpret, and disseminate data from City systems after the 2021 winter weather event.
  • Installed new security cameras at both Hike & Bike trails.
  • Improved our cybersecurity initiatives through new software and training and deployed a monitoring service to identify possible system vulnerabilities.
  • Collaborated with vendors and departments to create an online permitting portal, which will include Environmental Health in early 2022.
  • Worked with 911 dispatch to implement an Automated Secure Alarm Protocol called ASAP, which will allow alarm companies to alert the dispatch center of any burglaries through electronic messaging built into the Computer Aided Dispatch software.
  • The Henry Homberg Golf Course went live with enhanced GolfNow G1 software. One of the most anticipated new features is the ability to order drinks from your phone and have them delivered by a beverage cart to the course.

Traffic + Communications

  • The team modified 15 intersections from protected left turns to flashing yellows. 
  • They replaced many highway cobra heads with high masts to improve lighting on the freeway system in the city limits.
  • They connected Tyrrell Park Nature Center (coming soon!) to the Cattail Marsh Wetlands Education Center with fiber.
  • They converted the regional radio system to a fully digital system (P25), which operates in the three-county area. This infrastructure is critical for police, fire and EMS, and public works.

Water + Sewer Services

  • Despite a challenging year, The water department worked with Building Services, Streets and Drainage, and Traffic and Communications to ensure that the Water Plant stayed up and running and continued to produce safe, clean drinking water throughout the Freeze of 2021.
  • They upgraded the chlorine feed system at the Water Production Plant and increased the feed rate capabilities by 50%. 
  • In August of 2021, the Loeb Ground Water Plant came back online after upgrading the chlorine, ammonia, and SCADA systems. They have also streamlined operational and laboratory tests and reporting.