BEAUMONT - By Megan Dillard:
We're nearly two weeks into 2013. Many people take time at the beginning of the year to reflect on past accomplishments and plan for new ones.
KFDM visited with Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames to capture her thoughts about how far Beaumont has come and where the city is headed.
"When you do something that long, you become passionate about it."
Six years as the mayor of Beaumont. Becky Ames holds the title, but it takes support from many people to pull it off.
"None of this I did by myself. I have a great city staff behind me, a great city manager, and then of course, council members that are willing to do what's needed."
A group effort she says produces accomplishments.
One completed project is the Amtrak station on Cedar. It opened last year. "The platform is all brand new with lighting. I've been out there a few times when the train came through, and you'd be surprised how many people are starting to ride the train."
Amtrak paid most of the cost.
The city pitched in for public restrooms and a police substation.
"As our citizens start to see how nice it is, we'll increase that ridership." Progress is also flowing in downtown Beaumont.
The Event Centre -- one of the area's newest additions.
"I think it's a quality of life issue for our citizens, especially for the young people to have something to do."
The area leading into downtown has also seen a facelift.
"You'll see people walking their dogs and bicycles, and with spring, I think it'll be even nicer."
The Calder Project started with FEAM as a way to move homes and businesses out of the flood zone. It grew into a beautification project.
"Brick pavers, the lighting, the bike lane. It's really served us well."
While the mayor is proud of accomplishments like the changes here on Calder, she says the city does face challenges.
One of the goals is improvements on streets all over the city, including here on Seventh Street.
"We have an aging infrastructure."
While the city takes aim at what's old, a new project on the drawing board includes a street called Northwest Parkway.
"That will connect behind Parkdale Mall over to Folsom to Major. I haven't seen the exact design of it yet, but it'll be in that area and it's expected to take about 35% of the traffic off Dowlen Road."
While the top of the year brings reflection and planning, it reinforces for Ames her life's passion.
"I love being the mayor, I love the city of Beaumont, and I'm just really excited about what's coming up in our future."
A future paved with changes that are only just beginning.
Some of the other plans for the city include a downtown skate park and another hike and bike trail.
Construction is set for this year.