Texas City’s Economic Development Corp. gave early approval to the city’s spending of about $1.2 million for marketing and walkability projects recommended by a study completed this year.

On Monday, the city’s economic development board approved spending $450,000 for signs directing people toward the Texas City Dike, Sixth Street and the city’s center. The board also approved $750,000 for improvements to the hike and bike trails, a monument sign at Ninth Avenue and Sixth Street and bike racks. The city commissioners must give final approval to the purchases.

The new projects are among nine recommended by a “Livable Centers” study published last summer.

In the last year, urban planners led by the consulting firm Freese and Nichols collected community ideas about how to redesign and improve the city’s livability, including ways to mitigate traffic, encourage walking and attract tourists.

The Houston-Galveston Area Council helped the city pay for the $270,000 “Livable Centers” study. The Texas City Economic Development Corp. spent $53,750 on the study.

The study area’s borders include 31st Street North east to Bay Street North and Texas Avenue north to 25th Avenue.

The study relied in part on public input from more than 500 Texas City residents who ranked sidewalks, removal of blight, better retail and entertainment and affordable housing the most important improvements for the city.

The projects given early approval Monday are the first developed from the study to receive funding.

The city plans to use Houston-based DG Studios to design signs at the entrance of Texas City on Palmer Highway, near the city’s government center, in the business district on Sixth Street and near the Texas City Dike at a cost of about $67,000, Texas City Administrative Coordinator James Hartshorn said.

The signage is also meant to serve as a marketing or branding attempt, he said. The city estimated the signs and installation would cost about $350,000.

“The signs will let people know they’re entering a special part of town,” Hartshorn said.

The hike and bike trails will improve connectivity and make for a more pedestrian-friendly city, Hartshorn said. The trails will be put throughout the city center.

Contact reporter Marissa Barnett at 409-683-5257 or marissa.barnett@galvnews.com.

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