BEAUMONT, Texas — A State of the County was held Thursday at the MCM Eleganté Hotel & Conference Center to address Jefferson County’s recent achievements and plans for the future.
Judge Jeff Branick, as requested by the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, gathered to discuss and tackle topics surrounding hurricanes, tropical storms and the COVID-19 pandemic
Branick says several projects are in the works, such as industrial expansion, coastal erosion, improved transportation and more.
He also emphasized the need for improving drainage issues as Southeast Texans prepare for another hurricane season. Although Branick says there isn’t a drainage system in the world that can handle Hurricane Harvey-like flooding, there is work that can be done.
“We can certainly get better, and be supportive of our area’s drainage districts to accomplish that,” Branick said.
James Johnson, a realtor with Beaumont RE/MAX Open, attended the event and had concerns about the housing market and his job this hurricane season. He says Branick did a great job at setting the tone for the county, which is very helpful.
“I'm hoping the housing market kind of settles down. We get scared because we don't know what's going to happen and it can easily affect the housing market here,” Johnson said.
Branick couldn’t provide a lot of details about what’s to come, but he is very optimistic.
“I think over the next 10 years, we’re going to learn a lot about our responses that were flawed, and things that we could’ve done much better. I hope that from my perspective, it’s gonna be a great learning experience," said Branick.