The 2013 State of the City address was held at noon Tuesday at the Bastrop Municipal Center. Mayor Betty Alford-Olive gave the address, which highlighted many of the city's accomplishments in 2012 including an A+ credit rating; the 2012 LMA Outstanding Community Improvement Award; several grants, new ordinances and adjusting the budget to offset a 2.5 million revenue loss.
Olive expressed her gratitude to several members of the community, who gave of themselves in order to improve the way of life in Bastrop.
"My philosophy of an elected official is to seek to give for a cause for others rather than seeking to give for self and what makes a city strong is when others feel the same," Olive said.
She recognized the works of the Rev. Fulton and his vision for Youthquake, which has grown into an annual event that fills the hotels and restaurants as well as touching the lives of thousands of children.
Olive also spoke of the Rev. George Cooper at his annual Youth Impact for children during the summer.
Sara Hawkins was also applauded for her efforts in the Relay for Life as was Michael Atkins for his mentoring program.
"We live in a better place because of people like the Rev. Earnest Smith, who at the age of 72, walked across the stage of the University of Louisiana at Monroe to obtain his bachelor's degree, along with his grandson," said Olive. "People like Evelyn Natt and her passion to save our girls and youth by engaging them in seminars and community activities and Dr. Princess Pegues and her renowned achievements with the International Women's Ministry as president and her world-wide travel to help others not only here, but abroad.
Men like Jimmy Christmas who continue to invest in our community, bringing a store to a side of town when others turned their heads and the volunteers of Keep Morehouse Beautiful, who choose to roll up their sleeves and work with us to accomplish a cleaner environment. We are better because of these people, as well as our dedicated city workers, because we are working for a cause to make life better now and for the next generation," Olive concluded.
Highlights of the year include
• Provided mandatory ethics training for all employees and elected officials
• Finished the fiscal year 2011 - 2012 with a balanced budget
• Refinanced Sewer Bonds issues, saving significant interest charges
• Technologically upgrade city clerk's office
• Received a Main Street grant
Main Street/Community Affairs
• Worked with Keep Morehouse Beautiful on several projects
• Marketed Bastrop in various avenues
• Communicated activities, successes and special events with media and the community
• Hired two new firemen
• Certified each fireman in CPR and first aid
• Continued Operation SAFE HOME, providing hundreds of smoke alarms to residents
• Coordinated with Homeland Security on disaster response
• Trained officers in dismantling meth labs through a grant
• Continued to encourage citizens to form neighborhood watch areas
• Installed new surveillance equipment
Public Works Department
• Continued to provide a high level of service after a reduction in staff
• Purchased seven vehicles through a grant
• Reconstructed two main bridges
• Remodeled the bathrooms at Carter and Dotson parks
• Remodeled dugouts at Carter and E. Madison parks
Code Enforcement Department
• Continued working with absentee property owners to keep properties maintained
• Removed 15 dilapidated structures and over 30 junk vehicles
• Constructed new ponds in the Coulter Industrial Park
• Replaced underground sewer lines through grants
• Purchased several new portable pumps which allow the cleaning and repairing of tanks
• Integrated VMware infrastructure into police dept. workflow
• Wireless in-car video system brought online
• Wireless in-car data system brought online
• Online tax payment server system brought online
Bastrop City Courts
• Started annual roundup for pickups of outstanding warrants
• Updated security of office and installed a metal detector
• Installed an online ticket paying system
• Increased security
• Installed digital recording system for courtroom
To obtain a copy of the State of the City, contact the Mayor's office at 283.3301.