David Ball – For The Record

The Bridge City City Council probably came away with a better understanding of where the Bridge City Public Library is with their projects.

Mary Montgomery, library director, gave statistics, some ongoing events, and a construction update at the regular meeting of the city council on the evening of October 6.

Montgomery said for 2015, there have been 697 new members, 3,800 active members, 22,599 patrons and volunteers worked 409.5 hours. The system keeps members for three years before they are taken off the rolls. There have been a few inactive members those three years.

For circulation statistics, 13,366 adults have checked out material, 1,078 young adults, and 12,813 children. For e-books, 1,693 have been checked out for the year.

Under computers, 4,832 patrons have used them, 595 have received one to one training on them and 168 have accessed WiFi. The BCPL Facebook page has 649 likes with more added weekly.

The BCPL is a member of the Texas State Library Association that allows them to participate in Text Share. They are also members of the Southeast Texas Discussion Group which meets twice a year to discuss how the area libraries operate.

Montgomery said the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce also helps out.

Religious books collected are placed in prison libraries as well as books collected for a veteran’s home in Louisiana.

The BCPL has been collecting various items for Girls’ Haven too. The Friends of the Library are planning to celebrate the library’s 25th anniversary on March 17, 2016 with an Author’s Dinner fund-raiser. Montgomery hopes the building construction is completed by then so tours may be conducted.

Also, a lady is writing a book on the history of the BCPL.

K’Lynn Ess, children’s librarian, reported there were 215 children signed up for this year’s Summer Program with 96 of them completing the reading log, turning it in, and receiving a gift bag.

Kember Ess dressed as “Paddington Bear” for the movie. David and Lori Ess provided cookies and juice for the children during the movie. Gator Country was there for the second week on short notice when the Houston Museum could not make it because of the weather.

Ess thanked the Bridge City High School Varsity team for passing out gift bags and also gift bag sponsors.

Fifty two children enrolled in story time. The third class is scheduled for January.

Montgomery next spoke on the construction project for the BCPL.

She said their construction budget was $38,000 with $23,699 left over. They have received two grants for painting and for flooring.

The library staff hopes to get a door installed from the library to the meeting room. However, it may take a while to finish the meeting room. They have also applied for a $47,452 grant for shelving and furniture and they plan to use as much of their current shelving and furniture as possible.

City Manager Jerry Jones said the final step is for the air conditioning/ heater people to come in and workers can start taking the wall out.

In other city business, Jones reported the splash pad crew is ending their work. All that remains is filling in the back cement, canopy work, and electrical work. He added everyone will have to wait 28 additional days for the coating on the cement to finish.

The city has received the final plans for the new police station to be built behind RaceWay filling station on Texas Avenue and Rachal.

Bids will be opened for a 10-inch water line on October 27 and the bid awarded on November 3.

Street work will start on Glenn, Skylark, and Robin along with the water filtration system.

Resident Nita Baldwin said during Citizens Comments she wants to build a picket fence at her home at 150 N. Clover St. for esthetic reason and for the safety of her dog so it won’t run off.

She said the city’s ordinance, however, states residents can’t have fences in their front yards. She suggested maybe the ordinance needs to be amended.