The City of Baytown, Texas is the third largest city in the Houston Metropolitan Area. Located east of Houston, Baytown is only 20 miles from downtown Houston, within 35 minutes of Houston Hobby Airport and within 55 minutes of Houston Intercontinental Airport. Houston is readily accessible via Interstate 10, a major thoroughfare running through the north side of Baytown. The City encompasses an area of 34 square miles with an estimated population of 71,358 for 2006.
Baytown boasts a rich environment, history and economic heritage. It is surrounded by six bays and the Houston Ship Channel, which has led not only to the development of a booming petrochemical industry, but also a variety of recreational activities centered around the area’s waterways. In the past, Baytown was home to Karankawa Indians, and some their artifacts can still be found at the Baytown Nature Center. Many historic battles also took place in the Baytown area including the Battle of San Jacinto where Texas won its independence.
The City was incorporated January 24, 1948 as a Home Rule City operating under the Council-Manager form of government. The City Council is composed of the Mayor and six City Council members. All six of the Council members are required to reside within defined districts from which they are elected. The Mayor is elected at large. As a result of a May 13, 2006 Charter election, all City Council positions and the Mayor are elected for three-year staggered terms.
Article III, Section 32 of the City Charter requires that the Council appoint a City Manager to act as the chief administrative and executive officer of the City. It is the responsibility of the City Manager to appoint and remove department heads and conduct the general affairs of the City in accordance with the policies of the Council.
Summary of Local Economy
The City of Baytown in the past five calendar years (2000 – 2005), has experienced more than over $210 million in new commercial development and more than $205 million in new residential building activity has occurred. This residential trend is continuing with $12 million of the new construction occurring in the first six months of calendar year 2006. Commercial renovation and expansion are also strong with $63 million in activity in the past five years.