2022 has brought many changes to the City of Beaumont, and you can feel a true momentum shift. Led by a new executive team and City attorney, departments and divisions have worked tirelessly to provide the citizens with better services and streamline operations, some more visible, some behind the scenes. Here’s a snapshot of some new and enhanced programs underway – we can’t wait to continue the important work in the new year.
Quality of Life Programs
Beaumont Events hosted more than 500 events in City venues, a 64% increase over 2021, and produced 70 city-sponsored events and festivals. They saw record crowds at the Christmas Tree Lighting, Oktoberfest, and the always sold-out annual Craft Beer Fest.
Beaumont Events and the CVB partnered to expand Artaco into a Hispanic Heritage Festival. Over 3000 people and 50 local vendors came to participate in a taco-eating contest, traditional performances, and an artist showcase.
The Juneteeth celebration was expanded and moved downtown.
The PD served around 3,500 people at the annual BPD Trunk or Treat, a record turnout!
The Police hosted four Fun Days in parks around Beaumont to connect with communities and neighborhoods.
The CVB hosted the first-ever Mural Festival with Pour09 Bar & Rooftop bringing 16 acclaimed artists and 10+ new murals to Beaumont including one inspired by local musical legend, Barbara Lynn, and one done by local artist Henry Art Smith, who came home from LA to leave his mark on Beaumont.
The CVB hosted the Beep Baseball Championship, a tournament for blind and visually impaired athletes that brought 17 teams from all over the world and more than 400 people to Beaumont.
The CVB held the biggest Restaurant Week to date with over 50 area restaurants participating.
Beaumont Municipal Airport’s new flight simulator has already had 40 pilots training on the program, in addition to 10 students taking their check rides to be pilots.
The airport also held two successful food truck fly-ins with over 100 planes and 2,000 people in attendance.
The Library held its first-ever STEAM Camp this summer with 350 attendees and 14 community partners. The Egg Drop was a big hit and a highly requested repeat activity.
The Library attended 24 outreach appointments and interacted with over 7K community members to share info about their adult and youth services and programs.
The Library distributed 35,700 imagination kits through monthly drops at their branches and community partnerships with the City’s summer camp and rec center, Beaumont Housing Authority, and World of Color Daycare.
The Library’s summer reading program had over 1K youth and teens signed up, in addition to offering programs like the Friends of the Library book sale, novel writing program, short story program, and holiday events.
Parks and Rec held the Calder 5K for the first time since 2019.
We implemented new and exciting programs at the Lakeside Center, such as enhanced arts classes, fitness coaching, and seasonal painting workshops, all free and targeted towards the young at heart citizens.
The CVB officially opened the gift shop and held the first workshop in the new Tyrrell Park Nature Center with many more plans to expand our ecotourism offerings with a pollinator garden, a butterfly garden, and field trip opportunities.
They expanded the free Marsh Minions children’s programming at Cattail Marsh Wetlands Education Center thanks to a new partnership with 409 Family. Cattail has recorded visitors from 49 states and 22 countries.
Parks got upgraded. The basketball court at Rogers Park was resurfaced with new lighting, and new glass was installed. Rogers Park also added lines for two pickleball courts, now the fastest-growing sport in America.
The splash pad was updated in Sprott Park, and a new playground was installed. Central Park got a newly resurfaced tennis court, and the Tennis Center added lines for eight additional pickleball courts. Babe Zaharias Park Installed six new soccer goals, and the Athletic Complex replaced their basketball goals. They continued resurfacing the bridle path at Tyrrell Park.
Public Safety, Community Development & Services
A new fleet of eight large buses and eight paratransit vans hit the streets to replace 80% of the old buses. The new Zip rides have features like bike racks, folding chairs to allow room for more wheelchairs, and kneeling ramps for increased accessibility for all citizens. They launched in conjunction with an app to allow for real-time tracking and a new multi-lingual website.
SWAT hosted a training school for eight outside law enforcement agencies.
311 handled over 94,000 requests for service.
Building services renovated the EOC Training on the third floor of the Municipal Court, which is an essential hub for emergency operations.
Wireless water meters were upgraded to be able to provide better reading capabilities.
There were 1,218 calls to 811 by contractors and citizens. We will go to the location and mark our power lines before the person does any digging or trenching.
OCI broke ground on the largest blue ammonia facility of its kind in Texas, a potential billion-dollar investment that will bring hundreds of jobs to the area.
Public Health administered 4,465 children and adult vaccines and 10,152 COVID vaccines.
Environmental Health conducted 1,668 inspections, issued 455 food permits, and responded to 15 nuisance calls.
Building codes reviewed 64 commercial and residential plans and conducted over 1K construction inspections in November alone.
A record number of permits were issued in 2022 – more than in the past decade, showing major growth.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were issued to community partners like The SETX Food Bank, Some Other Place, Family Services of Southeast Texas, Girls Haven, Inc., the HOW Center and Land Manor Inc, and Habitat for Humanity. In 2022, the Salvation Army opened “Home Sweet Home,” a newly renovated and expanded shelter.
A new police contract was signed that’ll enable them to be more competitive in recruiting officers.
Education & Communication
Interactive maps were added to the website so the public can always check the status of Wards/Redistricting, Pavement Conditions, Water Discoloration Calls, New Construction Permits, Code Enforcement Cases, Potholes, and a Public GIS App.
We streamlined the signup process for our senior utility discounts and created a new, easier-access website BeaumontTexas.gov/Seniors. Communications began a PR campaign to educate the public on what recreational opportunities, programs and services are available to seniors.
An Economic Development Campaign was launched through the creation of Beaumonttxdevelopment.com to more aggressively target developers and attract new business to the area, educating them on the tax incentives available, ease of permitting, lower cost of doing business and living, and the free pre-development meetings.
We created a litter PSA in the form of a catchy rap song to remind citizens to take pride in where they live.
We created a new video series, “the Beaumont Beat,“ to keep the citizens informed on what they should care about right now. It features significant capital expenditures, projects recently completed, major milestones, and what we’re about to kick off, the big projects their tax dollars are going towards.
We created a beautiful new Parks and Rec brochure outlining all the facilities and programs available to citizens, from summer camp to the free Sterling Pruitt gym.
We launched a new page on the website to help the community understand more about homelessness, offer resources to those in need, and bring awareness to the Mayor’s Homeless Coalition and the local partner programs the City supports. Over the past 10 years, the City has invested more than 1.2 million dollars into organizations that work to prevent homelessness, provide services for those at risk of becoming homeless, and/or provide tenant-based rental assistance programs.
We launched a Visit Beaumont Tik Tok account to reach new audiences to establish a new content channel with recommendations for things to do in the area.
Improved Processes, Technology and Organizational Updates
We held our first-ever vendor fair to be more competitive in the bidding process and educate companies interested in working with the City on the process.
We hired a new City Manager and two new Assistant City Managers to provide strategic direction for the future.
We raised the minimum starting wage for all full-time employees to $13.
Service Awards were given to 40- and 45-year employees and countless others with over 290 years of combined service.
PD honored two fallen BPD officers, one of whom was the first known black Beaumont Police Officer.
A strategic downtown development steering committee was created to kick off the redevelopment process.
IT worked with Event Facilities to upgrade their booking software to streamline processes and manage contracts digitally.
A new online ordering system was launched for Vital Statistics to be able to order birth and death certificates via the website. Over 13,000 birth certificates and 3,000 death certificates were issued.
IT worked with the Beaumont Public Library System to implement a new reading program software that will be used in the 2023 Summer Program.
Public Works & Infrastructure Improvements
The Street & Drainage team continues to serve the City of Beaumont with thousands of feet of ditch grading, asphalt paving and concrete pavement repair completed.
Washington Blvd Phase II closed out this year. The Washington Blvd. Phase I (Washington Boulevard Phase I (Amarillo to MLK Parkway) and Phase II (Corporate Drive to Amarillo Street) reconstructed Washington Blvd from MLK Jr Parkway to IH10 frontage road. The project included improvements and replacement of the storm sewer infrastructure, improvements and replacement of the water and wastewater lines, new traffic signals at intersections, and widened and provided for a new concrete roadway with sidewalks for 1.5 miles of road.
Fleet Phase II was completed, which reconstructed the parking lot and improved drainage for the Fleet Facility located at 4955 Lafin Dr. Phase II reconstructed a total of 15,833 SY of concrete parking lot to go along with the 7,093 SY already completed in 2021 during Phase I.
Streets Rehabilitated (Street Rehabilitation Phase IV and Street Pavement Preservation) – 5.5 miles on the Pavement Preservation Project and 6.8 miles on the Street Rehab Phase IV.
In a joint project with Jefferson County, Spindletop Avenue (Sulphur Dr to MLK Jr Parkway) was rehabilitated to make drainage improvements. The total project length was 0.5 miles.
102,542 square feet / 11,393.6 square yards of concrete pavement panel repairs were completed in 2022.
181,908 LF of ditch was cleaned and regraded. 73 culverts were reset in the ditching contract.
We changed providers for our incoming telephone lines from AT&T copper T1s to SIP trunks.
Televon reduced telecommunications costs by $239,539.89. $95,590.98 in recurring cost and $143,948.91 in AT&T disputes.
We are moving the Orange radio tower to a location Orange Police Department owns, which will save us about $65,000.00 per year in leasing costs. This will be completed in 2023.
We are in the process of changing out the lighting for both the north and south radio towers in Beaumont to LED.
Water production completed the caustic system and kicked off the Collier’s Ferry pump station project. 2 additional operators received their licenses.
Water administration finished repairs on over 20 lift stations damaged during Hurricane Harvey.
Sanitary Sewers replaced over 750 services and 200 manholes and conducted over 41,000 feet of pipe bursting, 245,000 feet of line cleaning, and 16,000 feet of smoke testing.