PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

December 8, 2012

PN Council gives green light to fire station grant

Mary Meaux
The Port Arthur News

PORT NECHES — Port Neches Councilmembers gave the green light to a federal grant and the construction of a new fire station/emergency operations center.

Council approved acceptance of the grant with a 3-2 vote  on Thursday with members Roy Hollier and Terry Schwertner casting the dissenting votes.

Port Neches Fire Chief Steve Curran said his next steps include officially accepting the grant then beginning an environmental assessment of the proposed site. The assessment could take between four to six months to perform and at that time funding will be released for the project.

Construction of the multi-purpose facility will likely not begin for about a year and will take between nine months to a year to complete, he added.

The  $2.9 million Port Security Grant which will fund a majority of the cost of the construction of a new fire station/emergency operations center with the city picking up the final 25 percent match, or about $1 million.

Port Neches – Groves Independent School District Board of Trustees voted last month to trade the property associated with the proposed fire station site for the existing City Hall property but there are a variety of other previously identified issues that remain unresolved yet must be considered as a part of this discussion, according to information from the city.

City leaders are also facing a possible federal mandate on a different issue — the waste water treatment plant. The Environmental Protection Agency, at the current time, is requiring the city to upgrade its waste water treatment plant by adding a seven-million gallon retention pond that would cost between $5 to $7 million. The city, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and the EPA have been in negotiations on the issue for about two years.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

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