TEXAS CITY — The city has made more than $412,000 each year in revenue — about $1.4 million total — since the city began charging a fee to get on the Texas City Dike during summer weekends. That money, city officials said, then gets used to clean up the dike and add amenities, which have totaled about $841,000.
Revenue from dike fees is already at $161,546 for the 2013-14 fiscal year, with about $41,000 coming from the Memorial Day weekend alone, said Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle.
The money comes from the $5 fee the city charges for a day pass on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from March to October and on certain holidays. Because cleanup costs are increasing, the fee will be raised to $10 on certain holidays, Doyle said.
The fee was implemented in Sept. 2010. Revenue in the first fiscal year was $440,141, according to data provided by the city. In the 2011-12 fiscal year, revenue was $412,134, and in 2012-13, revenue was $427,715.
All that money is used to clean up and improve the almost 5-mile long dike, Doyle said.
“We spend a tremendous amount of money on litter control and cleanup,” he said.
But what is left over is put toward amenities on the popular fishing dike. The city has put lights on the fishing areas and boat ramps, construction of a new fishing pier was finished late last year, and a new cleaning station at the end of the dike is being installed, among other things, Doyle said.
The city spent $89,193 on the dike in it’s first season of charging the fee with expenses of $284,377, $335,949 and $132,052, respectively, in the following years for a total of $841,571.
There is no running water or pluming on the dike, so the city can’t put in permanent restrooms, but there are portable toilets, Doyle said. And after reading about complaint in The Daily News about the toilets, Doyle said the city would be stepping up cleaning and maintenance of the toilets.
Charging a fee to use the dike had always been in the city’s plans, Doyle said.
It wasn’t until after improvements were done following Hurricane Ike that the city started getting users of the dike to pay for its maintenance instead of tax payers, he said.
“We needed to get the money we were spending of the tax payers dollars off the tax payers back and on to the users’ back,” he said.
Texas City residents can get a sticker from the city and for free admission to the dike, Doyle said.
The way the city is handling the fee and the cleanup is working well and is fair, he said.
“Citizens of Texas City get to use it for free because they are tax payers here, and the people from out of town who are using the city’s facilities are the revenue stream,” Doyle said. “And that is the fair way to do it.”