Dayton city manager eyes future growth, reflects on greatest challenges since he took over six months ago

Dayton City Manager Steve Floyd

On the job for just six months, Dayton City Manager Steve Floyd shared with Bluebonnet News how he is working to get the city on solid financial footing, how growth is imminent and how he plans to lead the City forward.

Tell us about your first six months as Dayton City Manager:

My first six months as Dayton’s city manager has presented many challenges as well as many opportunities. Although some very tough decisions have had to be made in order to get the City of Dayton on better financial ground, there are also several opportunities for growth and future prosperity as well.

The City Council, including the newly elected members, have been very supportive in the urgency to balance our budget and begin to look at future infrastructure projects that this city desperately needs. We need additional water and sewer infrastructure! An additional water well is high on my priority list and our engineering firm is working on the first phases of the process to get a new well. These first six months have been tough but I remain positive about the future of Dayton.

What are the biggest challenges that you have faced?

Within my first few months in Dayton, I recommended to close and demolish the pool at Daniel Park. This was not an easy recommendation, and I get the fact it was something for the local youth to do in the summer. However, I knew it was going to take somewhere between $800K to $1 million to get the pool operational. I could not recommend spending $200K to put a Band-Aid on a much larger issue that wasn’t going to add many more years of service to a 30-year-old pool. We simply could not afford it.

At that time, my new Finance Officer was discovering budget shortfalls on an almost daily basis. Once we realized that we had a budget shortfall, we were very cautious about expenditures that weren’t absolutely necessary. With assistance from DCDC, ARPA funds, a staff reduction along with freezing positions and department heads watching their expenditures we are headed to a positive position. We have challenges ahead, but I am excited to be headed in the right direction. There have been many challenges in six months but the budget shortfall is obviously the most pressing.

What are some positive things happening in Dayton?

I was faced with having to bring a Chief Financial Officer and Police Chief on board before I even accepted the position of City Manager. I immediately went to work to find the right fit for both of these positions. In my opinion, these are two of the most important positions within a city organization. I was very fortunate to bring on Calyn Wesson as CFO and Derek Woods as Chief of Police. These two have already proven their value to the City of Dayton and I anticipate positive things to continue to come from the both of them. It takes a great staff to make a great organization and we have re-structured and have some amazing staff members helping us get on track. 

There are several residential developments under construction and many more looking at property within the City of Dayton as well as in our ETJ. These new developments will put additional strain on our water & sewer infrastructure. However, with new development we will receive Impact Fees along with future property tax revenues once new homes are completed. These new revenues will give us the ability to expand our wastewater treatment plant, drill new water wells and improve our infrastructure to support our existing residents as well as serve the future growth. I feel there are exciting opportunities just around the corner with the Gulf Inland Logistics Park.

With the opening of the Grand Parkway, the close proximity to the Port of Houston, Houston Intercontinental Airport and downtown Houston, the Logistics Park is positioned to begin seeing tenants in the very near future.

We have been approached by several other fast food restaurants and coffee shops looking to locate in Dayton. Keep in mind these type of food establishments are typically the first to come to town. Look at Mont Belvieu, there were several fast food chains in town before they started getting sit-down type restaurants. I do realize the need for more family style restaurants and think we will see those interests grow in the coming months. There is always a mindset that cities go out and solicit these businesses. However, in almost all cases these businesses approach the city. We are, from time to time, approached by real estate developers that will ask what the city needs and we share our thoughts.

What can you tell us about the DayNet project?

We are faced with several challenges here at the City of Dayton. The DayNet project is a huge challenge. I inherited the DayNet project and have worked on how to make it successful. Unfortunately, myself or my team have not come up with a viable solution for keeping DayNet in-house. I feel like the DayNet project has been a victim of COVID, increased equipment costs and new competition from major corporate providers. The opportunity for this project to be successful does exist. However, the infrastructure will need to be taken out of town and service the residents that need high speed, broadband internet service that live in the county. Unfortunately, our project design was inside the city limits and it will take additional funding to take the project into the county. It will be my recommendation to sell the infrastructure to a provider that can service the county and continue to grow the customer list within the city limits and keep the project operational.

How do you plan to address the aging infrastructure?

I will soon be making a recommendation to city council that will allow for possible funding of street repair and drainage projects along with water & sewer infrastructure improvements. This recommendation will not have any increased costs to the residents! I ask for the support from the community as we continue work to get out of the hole that we are in.

As I take a look at Dayton from a 30,000-foot view I see more negativity from social media than any other area in which I have lived or worked. I ask that before someone gets on a social media outlet and spews negativity to consider that developers, both residential and retail, along with corporate and industrial, do look at the social media of the areas they are considering. This has been brought to my attention by some of the developers that are looking around our area now. Please consider this before posting hearsay or rumors. This negativity is not helping our situation. If you’re not part of the solution it, is my thought that you are part of the problem.

What’s your vision for the future of Dayton?

One thing is for certain! We could not continue down the path that we were headed. I’m optimistic about the future of Dayton. Not only the City of Dayton, but Liberty County and the region as well. I am excited about our relationship with Liberty County and Judge Jay Knight and his team working with the City of Dayton to promote the right growth for our area as we will soon see extraordinary growth. I also realize that not everyone is excited about growth and I understand that preserving our history is very important!  However, the growth is coming whether or not we are a part of it. It is my recommendation to be a part of the growth and choose what we look like in the future and not set back and complain and end up with a bunch of single street subdivisions with cul-de-sacs at the end.

My vision as I look forward is that we are starting to reap some of the benefits of past council’s visions. With our strip annexations, we have the ability to ask developers to voluntarily annex into the city in which we can sell them services and collect property taxes, all of which are revenue generators. I am excited to get started on improving water and sewer infrastructure, making street repairs, adding park and playground facilities and other quality of life improvements. I am confident that the proposal I bring to city council will be passed by the voters in November! Our streets and drainage are in desperate need of lasting repair and not just another patch.

Feel free to email me with any thoughts or concerns at I look forward to serving this community for years to come. I cannot do it alone. I must have the support of my staff, the city council and more importantly the support and trust of the residents of Dayton.

It’s a great day to be in Dayton, Texas!


    • as someone whos lived in both pasadena and dayton, pasadena aint that bad, only problem i ever had was the smell

  1. The number one problem needing attention is the traffic blockage, this should been addressed 30 years ago, so it’s not the problem caused by mr Floyd
    Cleveland fixed theirs, so do it
    Not negativity, just realistic

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