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Local News

November 25, 2013

Final public hearing for PA annexation Tuesday

PORT ARTHUR — Port Arthur’s City Council has a busy agenda Tuesday, prior to the city taking a break for the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday and Friday.

City Council is scheduled to meet at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday morning at City Hall for their regular meeting.

Among the agenda items is the third and final public hearing to consider annexation plans for areas located inside the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction.

City officials are attempting to forge industrial agreements with 18 companies in the ETJ, as well as Entergy. If those agreements are not negotiated by the time they expire on Dec. 31, the city will move forward with its annexation plans.

Most of the companies involved already have agreements in place that are about to expire, though a couple are new.

Typically, the companies pay a negotiated fee in place of property taxes since they are not located within city limits, but are in the ETJ.

If annexed, the city would be able to collect property taxes, but would be required to provide full municipal services such as water and sewer, police and fire protection.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Council will consider approving agreements with two of the companies: Veolia Environmental Services and GT OmniPort.

Also to be considered is a proposed new policy that would require any lobbying activities pertaining to contract documents or incentive agreements to be register with the city.

District 5 Councilman Willie “Bae” Lewis said he placed the item on the agenda so taxpayers would know who is lobbying to spend their money.

“I don’t want any secret lobbying going on,” Lewis said. “I am hoping this new procedure will stop all that.

While negotiations were going on concerning the development of the old Sutherlands Building, Lewis said he received phone calls from a Port Arthur lobbying firm attempting to sway his vote.

City Council will also consider awarding a contract to build a fishing ramp at Pleasure Island. The 200-ft ramp will replace four smaller ramps destroyed from Hurricane Ike damage.

Among other agenda, City Council will consider awarding a contract for design and construction management of the historic Rose Hill Manor.

The contract with Nelson Collaborative of Houston, not to exceed $51,200, is for phase one of the restoration and repair project.

E-mail: skoonce@panews.com

Twitter: skooncePANews

 

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