PARKS VOTE NEARS: Port Arthur leaders talk potential in virtual town hall today

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Should a ballot proposition reallocating sales tax to improve two of the city’s parks be approved by voters in May, Adams Park would become a multi-use entity.

The park, which is in the 3400 to 3600 blocks of 61st Street, already tout sports and event seating, competition level fields, walking tracks, soccer fields, cricket fields and lighting, Port Arthur Parks and Recreation Director Chandra Alpough said.

In addition, the tennis courts currently at the site would be updated.

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The park has three baseball fields, four softball fields — two of which are competition level — and one football field, plus a few associated buildings.

Mayor Thurman Bartie sees the future park as a boost to the local economy. Hotels will see visitors with the tournament level fields and money will be spent in the city with the surrounding communities benefitting, as well.

Bartie said the parks director is trying to provide citizens with state-of-the-art parks, as opposed to what many have grown accustomed to.

The addition of a cricket field is a way to reach out to the sports of the future, he said.

The idea of upgrading these parks is based on needs expressed by citizens, Bartie said, and not something any one councilperson put forth.

Alpough said the park will have restroom facilities, and repairing the road “will definitely be part of the discussion regarding the upgrading and enhancing of the park.”

The view through the main piece of playground equipment at Rose Hill Park in Port Arthur.

Rose Hill Park

Rose Hill Park at Woodworth Boulevard and Procter Street, currently features a playground, tennis court, picnic area, open green space and a backstop.

Future plans for the park appeal to different needs of the community.

“We anticipate adding a covered pavilion, restrooms, lighting, art pieces, walking trails and inclusive park features,” Alpough said.

In a previous interview, Alpough said Rose Hill Park would have art pieces from local artists. As for how the art/artists will be chosen hasn’t been decided at this point. The playground equipment on site is fairly new so those pieces will not need to be replaced.

Besides the two parks, the proposition will also provide funding toward the city’s recreation and senior citizens center.

A view of several ball fields at Adams park. (Mary Meaux/The News)

The ballot

A proposition will be placed before voters on May 1, asking to reallocate $1 million of sales tax revenue per year for three years from the Port Arthur Economic Development Corporation to be used to upgrade parks at Rose Hill and Adams, as well improve the senior recreation center.

If approved, the proposition would be in effect for three years with a possible three-year extension.

April 1 is the last day to register to vote or make a change of address effective for the May 1 election.

The first day of early voting is April 19. The last day of early voting is April 27.

News, Lamar hosting parks town hall

A Port Arthur News joint project with Lamar University on a virtual town hall concerning the election is today (March 10).

The online event is viewable by all live from 3 to 4 p.m. today (March 10).

The event will be shared and open on the newspaper’s and college’s various Facebook and YouTube pages. It focuses on Port Arthur’s election proposal giving voters the chance to reallocate sales tax funds to improve the city’s parks.

Mayor Pro Tem Charlotte Moses and Port Arthur Parks and Recreation Director Chandra Alpough will also be on hand to answer questions and inform viewers.

The town hall will include a moderator and time for the community to ask questions.