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Port Neches identifies funding, projects for city growth

PORT NECHES — As old long-term debt projects begin to be paid off and the numbers dwindle down, the City of Port Neches has started looking at new potential projects for 2020 and 2021.

City Manager Andre Wimer said the city is looking at a range of $5 million for potential future projects.

“The current environment, relative to interest rates and municipal debt, is very favorable right now,” he said. “It is such that it could allow the city to issue some debt in the $5 million range with absolutely no impact on the current tax rate.”

The Capacity Analysis, which is prepared by the city’s financial advisor, RBC Capital Markets, shows existing debt service requirements, potential future services and the combination of both items.

“What the analysis report shows is the current debt service requirements and the projected debt services with the potential distribution of debt,” Wimer said. “Using the current year as the baseline, the debt service totals $1,957,873. In 2020-2021 this would increase $2059,418 and $2,056,800, respectively, although additional increases could be covered by funds still left in the reserve.”

Wimer suggested potential projects at Thursday’s City Council meeting, including replacements to the sewer line for the Wastewater Collection System ($1 million), street repairs ($550,000) and the combination of projects for the Water and Wastewater Treatment Plants ($1,975,000).

Additional proposed expenditures include a new pumper for the Port Neches Fire Department ($700,000) and generators for the Water Treatment Plant, Wastewater Treatment Plant and Raw Water Life Station ($715,000). The sum of all projects amounts to $4,940,000.

“The street repairs are mostly concrete-related,” Wimer said. “In relation to the two plans for the Wastewater and Water Treatment Plants, most of that money is going towards mechanical equipment. We have a lot of unanticipated repairs that come (to city hall) that we have to approve. This is an attempt to address those reoccurring circumstances that aren’t necessarily budgeted in already.”

Wimer said there is a chance that the pumper for the fire department and generators for the plants can be funded through additional grants. Those grants are still in the application process and approval is to be determined.

“Basically that is the gist of the services we need done,” he said. “We have infrastructure needs, mechanical and street repair needs.”

Items will be further discussed at the next city council meeting.