PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Local News

July 6, 2009

Nederland survey tells future of city

NEDERLAND — A lot can happen in a city in 10 year’s time.

For example, back in the late 1990s citizens in Nederland wanted more apartments and the Nederland Economic Development Corporation took a step to provide more housing.

But according to the results of a recent survey Nederland residents do not want more housing. They have other issues on their minds.

The Nederland Strategic Planning Citizen Survey tapped into the opinions of a cross sampling of the community and touched included issues of physical/city facilities, citizens business, governance and level of services.

Responses were divided into categories of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, or SWOT, then the input was prioritized by category and ranked with the top three priorities in each section. The information was looked at in the context of growth, stability, decline and re-development.

Roland Ramirez of Ramirez Development Strategies, was asked by the NEDC and Entergy Texas to review the answers and present them to city council. Ramirez was one of the original consultants used for the 1997 strategic development plan.

Strengths listed by residents include the school district, proximity of resources and a safe and secure town while opportunities listed include airport development, the support of public school education and business retention/expansion.

The three top threats include stagnation of tax base, crime in nearby areas and subsidized housing.

When asked “what one industry, service, facility or attraction would you like to see in the city,” responses ranged from national retail and entertainment to a theme park and sports complex.

But this doesn’t mean city leaders will rush out the door to build their own version of Disneyworld. The project must be feasible, Carolyn Motl, Team City manager with Entergy Corporation, said.

Looking back

A sales tax election was approved by citizens for the purpose of forming an economic development corporation. At that time the EDC received one-half of 1 percent of sales tax in the city.

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