Council split on approving plans

   Spending about $12,000 for a transportation master plan and standards for the downtown district got a 3-2 split-vote approval from city council last week.
   Council members debated the merits of the transportation plan and downtown standards versus the more pressing urgency of Bay City street repairs at the Thursday, April 23, council meeting.
   Council also approved spending $25,000 for the last phase of renovating the Bay City USO Building and awarded more than $2 million in bids for a sewer force main and a sewer lift station as part of the city’s extension of utilities to the Tenaris steel plant.
   Mayor Mark Bricker supported the transportation plan and downtown standards contract with the Houston-based engineering firm of Jones & Carter. The city needs a plan showing how to design future thoroughfares through the community, the mayor said. 
   Planning for street rights-of-way, thoroughfare standards – classify existing and planned roadways within the city ETJ - parking and materials needed all are part of the transportation plan. 
   The standards portion of the contract will create a codification system for downtown development. 
   “You want to do a transportation plan when we haven’t finished” the street repairs, said Council Member Chrystal Folse, who was joined by Mayor Pro Tem Carolyn Thames in casting the two dissenting votes against the measures. 
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