Port Arthur to fund street projects early 2017

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The city of Port Arthur is making plans to finance some street work starting early next year.

The Port Arthur City Council approved the issuance of general obligation refunding bonds for Series 2016 and Series 2017 at their regular meeting on Tuesday morning.

The bonds are for $13,750,000 and shall not exceed 2.5 percent and mature on or before Sept. 30, 2028.

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“In January we should start seeing some money,” said Mayor Derrick Freeman.

He added the city will also leverage some Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation money at the beginning of the year for street repairs.

Tiffany Hamilton, Precinct 2 councilwoman, said she would like to use a portion of the funding for water and sewage lines studies so they too can be replaced or repaired and prioritize those.

Willie “Bae” Lewis, District 5 councilman, said the city already has a street inventory of the pipes.

City Manager Brian McDougal said the city has four months of reserves for the street projects.

“I think our revenues are fairly steady,” he said.

Hamilton also favors putting the city’s plan of action in documentation for future city councils.

“We don’t have to leave them blinded,” she said.

McDougal said he would like to see road signs erected for street projects for citizens to read “Your tax dollars were spent for this project.”

The council also passed the purchase of a Pierce Fire Engine for the fire department for $774,993.

They also approved the FY 2017 contract with the Department of State Health Services, WIC Division for $608,867.

The WIC program provides supplemental food vouchers and nutrition education to enhance good health care at no cost to low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children identified to be at nutritional risk.

This grant covers 10 fulltime employees and one contractor who is a registered dietitian.

Some partial appointments and reappointments were made to the Citizen’s Pipeline Advisory Committee. None of the terms roll over and most have expired. The committee needs a quorum of five to operate.

Those up for appointment and/or reappointment are: Loveless Williams whose term expires Nov. 12, 2016; Deral Segler whose term expires Nov. 12, 2016; Harrison Hill whose term expires on Nov. 12, 2016; Sharon Lynn Watts whose term expires on Nov. 12, 2016; Warren Field whose term expires on May 27, 2017; Harold Joseph Jr. whose term expires on Oct. 4, 2014; Hilton Kelley whose term expires on Nov. 12, 2016; Tyrone Neaveaux whose term expires on Nov. 12, 2016 and Earl Tizeno whose term expires on June 14, 2014.

Loveless, Tizeno and Segler were reappointed.

Other councilmembers said they needed more time to make their decision. They have until Dec. 13 at the next council meeting.

The committee was created on April 13, 1993 and the term of office is three years.

Hamilton also nominated Orange County resident Michael Cole as the city of Port Arthur’s member to the Board of Directors of the Orange County Appraisal District.

Current board member Lynda Gunstream is retiring on Dec. 31. The nominee must reside in Orange County.

Albright said the city council can nominate anyone they want to, but they won’t be appointed to the board because Orange County will choose one of their own.

Port Arthur is qualified to make a nomination because its Extra Territorial Jurisdiction includes the Entergy plant on Sabine Lake.

The motion was tabled.

David Ball: 409-721-2427