PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Port Neches

November 20, 2012

Deadline change for Port Neches fire department grant acceptance

PORT NECHES — Time is on the side of Port Neches City Council.

Miscommunication between the federal government and the City of Port Neches has allowed the city three additional weeks in which to make a decision regarding the acceptance of a grant that would partly fund the construction of a new fire station.

“We were previously told we had a 30 day time frame with which to make a decision,” City Manager Andrè Wimer said during a council meeting on Monday.

The extra time will allow staff to research cost figures associated with constructing a new fire station using Port Security Grant funds. Port Neches Fire Chief Steve Curran is looking at approximate cost per square foot and architectural fees. The grant calls for a 25 percent match from the city, which totals about $1 million

Wimer explained council must weigh the fire station project versus the cost of other projects as well.

The city is facing a federal mandate to upgrade its waste water treatment plant to the tune of 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.

The city also has other capital projects which would require some sort of debt issue.

The grant acceptance issue will be placed on the Dec. 6 agenda.

Curran applied for a Port Security Grant for the new fire station in April and received notification from the Department of Homeland Security of the grant award on June 29.

E-mail: mmeaux@panews.com

Twitter: MaryMeauxPANews

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