Bridge City officials discussed their 2009-10 budget in a late Tuesday workshop, starting with a basic outline figure of about $6 million.

Two more public workshops are slated for 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at city hall on Rachal Drive.

No decisions are final until approved later by city council, said City Manager Jerry Jones.

The trick this year, he said, will be to offset losses caused by Hurricane Ike while still keeping numbers close to the 2008-09 budget, which was slightly less than $6 million.

“With the hurricane, we lost all our revenue for four to five months,” he said. “That’s a very large amount of money and we’re still not back up yet, because a lot of residents are not back in their houses. But we’re going to work through that.”

Part of that plan, he said, involves using a $1.1 million community disaster loan from FEMA. Roughly $515,000 was used in this year’s budget, with about $660,000 targeted for 2009-10.

“This will help offset our water and sewer revenue,” he said,
adding, “All of our services will be the same. Nothing will be cut.”

In Wednesday’s workshop, he said talks will center on “ … line item by line item.”

“We’ll come up with a finalized number and discuss raises and capital items,” he said.

City retirement benefit packages should go up about 4 percent because of changes in state regulations, he said.