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PA City Council may adjust some water bills

The Port Arthur City Council heard about some high water bills during the summer. Now some relief to users may be coming when the council meets at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 27 at city hall, 444 Fourth St. in Port Arthur.

The council will consider amending procedures for adjusting water bills for residential and commercial customers as it pertains to rates, billing and collection procedures and providing for publication.

An interoffice memorandum read adoption of this ordinance will provide the city with opportunities to manage revenue in the water department.

The ordinance will be published at least one time within 10 days after final passage and take effect immediately after the date of publication.

City Manager Brian McDougal can adjust water bills up to $5,000. The city manager’s designee may adjust water bills up to $1,000. Any adjustments in excess of $1,000 shall be forwarded to the city manager for approval.

Procedures for water utility billing adjustments:

No adjustments will be made for any error in billing for water service, unless such error is called to the attention of the water and sewer department in writing, on forms prepared by said department for that purpose, within six months of the date of the billing claimed to be in error.

Adjustment shall only be made to non-commercial accounts, and are made under the following circumstances and conditions:

  • Leaks documented by the customer.
  • The excessive water charge must be at least $100 over the average water charge for the prior six months, and $100 over the water charge for the same month of the prior year.

The adjustment amount will be limited to the amount charged for water, in excess of the average water charge over the past six months.

The customer will be billed for all water registered on the meter to cover the city’s cost for lost water, and related direct costs according to the Water Rate Schedule.

Adjustment for water and sewer will be limited to one per 12-month period.

There shall be no adjustment over $5,000 without the final approval of the city council.

Procedures for water utility billing adjustments commercial accounts:

Adjustment may be made to commercial accounts, only with city manager final approval, and under the following circumstances and conditions:

  • In the event documented by the customer.
  • The excessive water charges must be at least $100 over the average water charge for the prior six months, and $100 over the water charge for the same month of the year.

The customer will be billed for all water registered on the meter according to the Water Rate Schedule to cover the city’s cost for lost water, and related directs costs.

Adjustment for water and sewer will be limited to one per 12-month period.

The city council will consider awarding a bid to Excavation and Construction, LLC of Port Arthur for Fourth Street improvements from Stadium Road to Duff Drive with a projected budgetary impact of $888,612.

The city allocated Community Development Block Grants funding for streets and drainage projects, according to a memo. This contract was advertised on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 in The Port Arthur News.

Seven bids were received and opened on Dec. 14 with Excavation and Construction Co. being the lowest responsible bid.

The proposed improvements include total reconstruction and widening of Fourth Street from Stadium Road to Duff Drive.

Up for consideration and approval is the engineer’s certificate of completion, contractor’s certificate and release and contractor’s certificate of guarantee for construction of the 24-inch water transmission line on Pleasure Island/MLK Bridge to Walter Umphrey State Park.

Allco, LLC completed the project. The retainage for this project is five percent of the work completed and billed, and the project engineer, Arceneaux, Wilson & Cole, LLC, approves final payment to Allco for $583,969.

Another project up for approval is awrding a bid and contract with Allco for the FM 365 sanitary sewer line replacement project. The line if 3,000 linear feet from El Paso Ave. to 1901 FM 365 Lift Station for $599,825.

On Oct. 24 and Oct. 31 competitive bids were solicited and an advertisement place in The News for the project opened Nov. 16 with DBS Constructors, LLC with the lowest bid.

The city, however, determined this particular bid was non-responsive because it did not submit all necessary paperwork with the bid and other factors as delineated. The project is being awarded to the second lowest bidder, Allco, that was determined to be a responsible bidder that met all of the qualifications.

David Ball: 409-721-2427