Greyhound Bus may be in downtown Port Arthur again

Published 5:35 pm Monday, January 30, 2017

Greyhound Bus Lines may be making a return to downtown Port Arthur.

The Port Arthur City Council will consider using the Port Arthur Transit Bus Terminal to serve as a bus station and ticket agent for Greyhound when they hold their regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 31 at Port Arthur City Hall, 444 Fourth St. in Port Arthur.

The resolution states the city council desires to attract new business downtown. Likewise, on Jan. 5, the Federal Transit Administration authorized the use of the Port Arthur Transit Bus Terminal by Greyhound Bus Lines due to the closure of their previous operating facility in Port Arthur.

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This modification is in compliance with all Federal Transit Administration’s guidelines and regulations.

The council will consider approving a pre-employment workforce training agreement between the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation and Lamar State College – Port Arthur for the training of Port Arthur residents as Class A Commercial Drivers. The training costs are not to exceed $40,000.

The resolution states the PAEDC Board of Directors found there is a high demand for licenses commercial drivers in the area and they recognize the importance of trained commercial drivers for entry-level employment.

PAEDC will allocate a total of $2,250 per student for eligible students. PAEDC will pay 50 percent of the tuition at a cost of $1,250 plus a $20 installment plan fee per student for a total of $1,270 upfront cost per student.

The remaining 50 percent of tuition will be paid once PAEDC receives confirmation the student obtains his/her CDL certification.

There are also several agenda items related to police matters at the meeting.

The second public hearing is scheduled as to the effects in the community of the curfew ordinance and whether the city should continue, modify or abolish the curfew ordinance.

The last time the city council held public hearings were on Feb. 4, 2014 and Feb. 18, 2014 as to the effect of the juvenile curfew ordinance on the city and any problems the ordinance was intended to remedy and the need for the ordinance.

Furthermore, Chief Patrick Melvin, Lieutenant Chris, Deputy Chief Robert Havens and Mary Ann Reid will address the city council regarding the Explorer Program in partnership with the Port Arthur ISD.

The council will consider a five-year contract with Utility Associates, Inc. of Decatur, Ga. For the lease of body cameras and accessories for police officers for $146,618 per year.

A memorandum from Melvin to City Manager Brian McDougal read the police department utilizes in-car cameras previously purchased through Utility.

Although these cameras are of good quality; however, they only record what is seen directly n front of the police unit. With the value of video in police incidents having become of nationwide importance, the police department wishes to lease body cameras, which records a more accurate picture of police incidents.

“The police department conducted extensive research into this technology and after doing so, feels that Utility has the best and most efficient product on the market,” it read. “Utility is the sole vendor and only software that is fully integrated with the current system utilized by the police department minimizing additional costs related to server compatibility, video storage and maintenance.”

Melvin wrote by going through the lease program, the city will get the latest technology and software updates from Utility and not have to revisit the issue within the next five years.

Another similar agenda item up for approval is a five-year contract with FARO Technologies, Inc., of Lake Mary, Fla. for the lease of a Focus 3D laser scanner and accessories for the police department for $17,970 per year.

A memo read the police currently use a Nikon DTM-520 Total Station surveying tool and handheld evidence recorder when investigating major accident scenes.

Lastly, establishing the Police Chief Advisory Committee will be considered.

The resolution reads the committee will be created to enhance citizens understanding, communication and cooperation between the police department and the community.

The committee will be composed of 18 citizens appointed by the mayor and city council. Their responsibilities shall include:

  • Assisting the police department in achieving a greater understanding of complex police community issues.
  • Studying, examining, and recommending methods and approaches to develop an active citizen-police partnership in the prevention of crime.
  • Promoting cooperative citizen-police programs and approaches in order to resolve community crime problems, and/or legislation that will enhance cooperation among citizens and the department.
  • Receiving information concerning police department programs, services and operations.
  • Acting as liaison between the community and the police department on matters address by the committee.
  • Participating in meaningful dialogue and providing meaningful input related to the objectives of the committee.
  • Assuming other tasks or duties to facilitate the accomplishment of the committee objectives.

David Ball: 409-721-2427