BRIDGEPORT, Ala. - Things are better than ever in Bridgeport, according to Mayor David Hughes.
Hughes spoke to residents, along with other city and state officials Thursday morning to discuss the state of the city, while also thanking various department heads, employees, and community groups.
Hughes updated everyone on the status of some streetscaping, drainage, and other utility projects.
He also opened up about some new projects, including the opening of several new businesses, including the Dairy Bar, Dollar Store, and Rip Gibson’s Resale Shop.
Hughes also discussed the development of a long-term master plan for the city as improvements to come along with the Google data center.
According to Mayor Hughes’s speech, the plan is “an economic-based roadmap that understands the physical, economic, and stakeholder communities to guide land-use decisions and the future growth of Bridgeport.”
To date, Hughes said, site inventory analysis, a tour and site visit of Bridgeport by land and river, and demographic and economic profiles have been completed. He said stakeholder meetings and interviews are almost finished.
Hughes stated they are more than 50 percent complete with the process, which will help them plan for the next 10 to 20 years.
“Google has really helped our finances, just on the construction part because at one time it was around 1,500 construction workers at full capacity. And our gas stations were full, our restaurants were full, our dollar stores were full, and our sales tax went way up,” said Hughes.
He said Google has also given the Jackson County School District quite a bit of money in grants.
Hughes told WHNT News 19 the city is in better financial shape than it has ever been.
Through various taxes including the sellers use, sales, and more, the city brought in almost $1 million more than last year.
The current budget is $2.8 million.
Salaries paid out cost $846,527.64, which is up from 2018 at $833,715.
Hughes said all full-time employees received a .50 cent raise, while part-time employees received a .25 cent raise, totaling at $17,700.
While there is a lot of growth in Bridgeport, Hughes mentioned the need for a new drug store since the previous one closed.
There was a total of 481 new cases filed in city court, including 247 traffic tickets.
In the past year, the Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department responded to 328 medical calls, 15 house fires, 15 vehicle crashes, one bomb threat, and five brush fires.