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PAPD positions updating up for a approval

There will be no reduction in force, but there may be a change in the number of authorized police officer position in the Port Arthur Police Department.

The ordinance will be considered at the regular meeting of the Port Arthur City Council at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at Port Arthur City Hall, 444 Fourth St.

The council will consider updating the number of authorized police officer positions in the PAPD.

The ordinance reads the PAPD recommends the city council authorize the city manager to convert a lieutenant position to an officer position and the conversion of these positions will increase the overall function and good operation of the department.

The following positions are currently authorized:

Classification                     Number of Officers

  • Police Officer—             103
  • Police Sergeant—         13
  • Police Lieutenant—     8
  • Police Captain—             0
  • Deputy Chief—               3
  • Assistant Chief—           0
  • Chief of Police—             1

Total                                       128

After passage of the ordinance the number of authorized position in the department in each classification shall be as follows:

Classification                           Number of Officers

  • Police Officer—                     104
  • Police Sergeant—                 13
  • Police Lieutenant—               7
  • Police Captain—                     0
  • Deputy Chief—                      3
  • Assistant Chief—                     0
  • Chief of Police—                       1

Total                                               128

The council will consider rescinding procedures for adjustment of water bills for residential and commercial customers.

Tiffany Hamilton, District 2 councilwoman, is requesting the ordinance be rescinded. The council approved the ordinance at their Dec. 27 meeting.

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.

Hamilton said she was still having serious problems with inaccurate water bills.

“I’m not comfortable about increasing the adjustment limit to $5,000. Before, if a citizen had a $1,000 adjustment they had to wait until the next city council meeting and they would get back $250.”

If there is a leak at a property, she said, the citizen doesn’t know about it until the following month. Sometimes the second or third month.

“Somewhere in between the ball is being dropped. I know for sure our city staff is checking the meters,” she said. “I had a good conversation with Dr. (Jimmie) Johnson (assistant city manager of operations) last Thursday and they’re working on it. He gave me a better understanding of the process. I want us to be more proactive than reactive. A bill is exorbitant when it’s around $1,000.”

Hamilton said she spoke with other councilmembers and they have questions too. She’s in favor of either tabling or removing the item.

“It’s been heavy on my heart since last week. We need a strong plan of action and more timely and accurate to customers. A bill that’s $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 is outrageous,” Hamilton said.

The council will consider a contract between the city and Allco, Inc. for the Bluebonnet Avenue street improvements project. The contract would be decreased by $386,939 for a new amount of $1,820,023. This is the final change order for this project.

This will add sealing of crack joints and reimbursement for material on hand not used on the project.

Also up for approval is a contract between the city and Arceneaux, Wilson and Cole LLC for professional services for paving design of Bluebonnet Ave. from Gulfway Dr. to Woodworth Blvd. The projected budgetary amount is $63,500.

It was discovered there were base failures the northern and southern portion of Bluebonnet.

The Texas General Land Office funding for engineering services were exhausted leading to the city being responsible for funding the redesign of the northern segment.

The city requested Arceneaux, Wilson and Cole to submit a proposal for the redesign.

Lastly, the council will consider supporting TEX-21 Initiatives, readying the state for the Panama Canal Expansion.

The resolution reads: “The Panama Canal Expansion is a worldwide game-changer, and Texas has the opportunity to be the biggest beneficiary.”

“The leadership of the State of Texas needs to invest the time and effort in creating for the people of this state a Third Coast, changing the national landscape forever.”

“It is in the best interest of the citizens of Port Arthur to support TEX-21 initiatives.”

David Ball: 409-721-2427