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Port Arthur City Council intends to issue bonds for streets, water plant

The city of Port Arthur intends to sell up to $10 million in certificates of obligation for the construction of streets, but the city has yet to determine how the money will be spent.

Following that, the city will purchase certificates for construction of a $60.56 million wastewater treatment plant from the Texas Water Development Board. The board approved funding with $4.25 million of loan forgiveness, meaning the city will need to pay $56.31 million back over a term of 20 years.

“It’s a debt the city will owe,” Port Arthur interim finance director Kandy Daniel said. “It’s like a loan, but what the city does is issue a certificate of obligation.”

The city will publish a notice of intent to issue the street bonds on its website and The Port Arthur News on Friday and on Dec. 13. The city is scheduled to authorize the issuance and sale of the certificates, or bonds, on Jan. 27 for the underwriting purchaser to receive Feb. 20.

Payments on the streets certificates are scheduled to begin in the 2020-21 city fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, 2020.

Port Arthur has hired Infrastructure Management Services of Tempe, Ariz., to examine city streets. City Manager Ron Burton said the data from IMS would be used to determine streets with the most immediate need.

The city is in the planning stages for a new water treatment facility, Burton added, but he didn’t give any potential locations. The current facility is located just off Texas Highway 73 on H.O. Mills Boulevard.

“We’re in the planning stages,” Burton said. “We’re talking about it.”

Certificates for both projects are supported by taxes and do not require public vote, Daniel said.

“The bonds will either be competitively bid or negotiated with a certain underwriter,” Daniel said, regarding the street bonds. “We will come back to council Jan. 27 with that information.”

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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